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Albany, Georgia, Is The Pecan Capital Of The United States

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Each year on September 21, people across the United States celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day.

This delicious cookie can be eaten and enjoyed morning, noon and night by hungry snackers everywhere. Another pecan related celebration is National Pecan Day on April 14. Pecan is an Algonquian word, meaning “a nut requiring a stone to crack.” A member of the hickory family, the pecan is native to central and southern United States.

Enjoying freshly baked, pecan cookies straight from the oven with a glass of milk is one of the best ways to end the day. Joining a friend while savoring the buttery goodness is even better.  The variety of recipes for soft or firm cookies astounds most bakers. The toasted nuts and sugary sweetness melts in your mouth, keeping you coming back for more.  They delight, and when stored properly, they stay fresh, too.  But pecan cookies won’t last long when they’re baked right.

  1. Pecans aren’t technically nuts. They are actually “drupes,” considered the fruit of a tree similar to peaches and plums.
  2. If the body does not get enough zinc, it may have difficulty producing testosterone – a key hormone in initiating sexual desire in both men and women.  Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc.
  3. It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
  4. There are two ways people pronounce “pecan” no one agrees which is the correct pronunciation.
  5. When Spanish explorers discovered pecans in the 16th Century, they named them “nuez de larruga” which means “wrinkle nut”
  6. Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919.  In fact, Texas Governor James Hogg liked pecan trees so much that he asked if a pecan tree could be planted at his gravesite when he died.
  7. Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S.  Albany hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, the crowning of the National Pecan Queen and many other activities.
  8. Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher.  Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter.
  9. “Pecan” is from an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack.
  10. There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans.  Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
  11. The U.S. produces about 90 percent of the world’s pecan crop.
  12. Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
  13. Astronauts took pecans to the moon two times in the Apollo space mission.
  14. Roasted pecan shells were often used as a substitute for coffee during World War II
  15. Okmulgee, OK holds the world’s records for the largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Foodimentary

Mobile-Cuisine

Natchitoches Pecans

 

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