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Pecans, one of the better known hickories, are the only nut trees native to North America, and are originally from the lower regions of the Mississippi valley, Georgia, Kansas, and central Texas. American Indians enjoyed pecans well before the first European settlers arrived.
A pecan grove takes some time to get going. It used to be that trees took about ten years to be productive, but with newer varieties it can be as little as four. Walking in a pecan grove is and always will be a unique experience. There is something unearthly about the sound and smell of those fallen leaves.
One of the finest nuts in texture and flavor, pecans stored in the freezer will retain their quality or long, but care must be taken as they will readily absorb odors from other foods next to them.
Pecans from wild trees, some people feel, are sweeter and have a higher oil content than the paper shell varieties, but this is open to discussion.
The list of scrumptious things using pecans is mouth watering: classic pecan pies, cookies, cakes, candies, chocolates, chopped in granola, mixed with fruit salad, roasted with salt and a dash of paprika, as a topping.
Roughly chopped, candied, then mixed with arugula and other bitterish greens, with a chopped fig or two and a bit of crumbled blue cheese and some vinaigrette, it makes an unusually good salad.
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A cello bag of Fancy Pecan Pieces carefully shelled and hand inspected to insure you only the best pecans.