According to the “Georgia Pecan Commission”, November is Georgia Pecan Month. That means it is time to break out the over 500 varieties of pecans that exist in the world today and get a little nutty!
Brief History of Pecans
Pecans have been cultivated, eaten and traded in North American as far back as the 16th century. The Native Americans were said to be the ones who gave the nut its name which means “all nuts requiring a stone to crack” in Algonguin.
Because they were an abundant source of much needed protein, the Native Americans ate them often and even concocted a powerful alcoholic drink from them called “Powcohicora.”
The nutty and salacious “Powcohicora” libation was said to have been used during Native American tribal celebrations and religious ceremonies for many years.
According to the “National Pecan Shellers Association” the first recorded planting of a pecan tree in the United States by early settlers occurred in Long Island, NY in 1772.
Afterward, the planting continued to spread and before long Americans were exporting the tasty and nutritious nut all over the world.
By the 1800’s the commercialized pecan industry was born and the world has never looked back.
The State of Georgia was to enter the commercial pecan industry early and by the late 1800’s the state was considered one of the top 20 pecan producing states in the nation.
The nuts are not the only thing harvested from the pecan trees in Georgia. During the 1996 Olympic Games the wood from Georgia’s pecan trees was used to create the torch handles used in both the relay and the lighting of the Olympic flame.
Nutritional Value of Georgia Pecans
Considered to be the only tree nut that is indigenous to the United States, pecans are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants.
So much so that the United States Department of Agriculture has even ranked them in the top 20 list of foods that have high antioxidant capabilities.
In addition, due to their high zinc content they are even considered aphrodisiacs by some. This is because scientists have determined that zinc is needed by the human body in production of testosterone, which is the principal hormonal impetus behind one’s sex drive.
Those that want additional information on pecans such has how to store them and a list of different pecan infused recipes to try should log onto either the “Georgia Pecan Commission” website or the “National Pecan Shellers Association” website.