25 Fun Trivia Facts About Pecans

25 Fun Trivia Facts About PecansPecans are a fascinating nut with interesting biology, history, and cultural significance. At Natchitoches, we love educating people about pecans. So here we’ve collected some of our favorite trivia facts about pecans so you can learn more about this unique nut:

  • Pecans aren’t technically nuts. They are actually “drupes,” considered the fruit of a tree similar to peaches and plums.
  • The word “pecan” comes from an Algonquin word that means “a nut that requires a stone to crack” because of the hard shell.
  • There are two ways people pronounce “pecan” no one agrees which is the correct pronunciation.
  • When Spanish explorers discovered them in the 16th Century, they named them “nuez de larruga” which means “wrinkle nut”
  • Native Americans ate pecans but also made pecan milk for infants and the elderly
  • Native Americans also made a fermented intoxicating pecan beverage called “powcohicora”
  • The word hickory comes from the word “powcohicora”
  • The pecan tree is a variety of hickory tree.
  • Pecans are related to walnuts
  • Pecan trees only produce nuts every two years
  • Pecans were not commercially grown until the 1880s but they were considered a foraged delicacy by colonists.
  • Thomas Jefferson planted a pecan tree in his orchard and would gift the other founding fathers pecans.
  • Pecans trees are native to the United States
  • There are over 1,000 different varieties of pecan nuts.
  • It takes 12 years for a pecan tree to reach maturity and begin producing nuts.
  • Pecan trees lives for 300 years.
  • They can grow to over 150 ft tall and have trunks that measure over 3 feet in diameter
  • 90% of all pecans are grown in the United States
  • April 14th is National Pecan Day in the United States
  • The pecan tree is the state tree of Texas
  • Astronauts took pecans to the moon two times in the Apollo space mission.
  • Roasted pecan shells were often used as a substitute for coffee during World War II
  • July 12th is national pecan pie day in the United States
  • Okmulgee, OK holds the world’s records for the largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, and pecan brownie
  • Pecan wood was used for the handles of the Olympic Torches in 1996. The torches were carried across a 15,000-mile relay until the flame was lit at the host city Atlanta, Georgia.

There’s so much to learn about pecans. Hopefully, these 25 fun facts help beef up your trivia knowledge about pecans. So the next time you give someone one our delicious Natchitoches Pecan gift boxes, you can tell them a little something about the fascinating story of pecans.