You Will Never Believe These 10 Nutty Pecan Facts

Delicious, nutritious, and one of the most popular edible tree nuts the world has come to love, we have ten pecan facts that will make you go ‘really’? What exactly is a pecan? How do you correctly pronounce pecan? Where do they grow, and where is the world’s largest pecan? These are just some of the nutty pecan facts we’ll uncover as we learn about the fantastic food!

1. An Out of This World Nut

an astronaut in space reaching out for a pecan
An astronaut in space reaching out for a pecan

Astronauts took pecans to the moon in two Apollo space missions, 16 and 17. For the Apollo Mission 16, the roasted pecans were in small portions for easy chewing and space food packaging for freshness. All types of other foods went into space during the Apollo 16 mission that those foods were pea soup, meatballs with sauce, chocolate bars, gingerbread, frankfurters, and many other things. To see the full menu of food taken with them into space, head over to the Apollo 16 press kit. For Apollo 17 menu, go here.

2. One Sexy Nut

A very aroused man eating a nut
A very aroused man eating a nut

Pecans contain a high concentration of phytoestrogen, which is a natural way to boost female libido. It also contains zinc, vitamin E, and protein, which can also help balance your hormones and are essential for sexual health. Zinc helps produce men’s sex hormones and can increase male libido.

In a clinical trial of two groups of men where one group ate added a handful of nuts to their diet compared to the other, that didn’t add the nuts, the men that added the nuts saw in increase of sperm quality, orgasm quality, and sexual desire.

3. World’s Largest

worlds largest pecan pie
The world’s largest pecan pie weighs 41,586 lb. and is 50 ft in diameter!

In 1999 at Okmulgee, OK, the El Paso Diablos created the monster of a pecan pie measuring 50-feet in diameter and weighing just under 19 tons. The ingredients to create this beast of a pie is as follows:

  • 3,471 lbs. of flour
  • 2,085 lbs. of shortening
  • 170 lbs. of powdered milk
  • 3,000 lbs. of water
  • 1,500 lbs. of pecans
  • 13,520 lbs. of sugar
  • 850 lbs. of margarine
  • 200 lbs. of salt
  • 6,7000 lbs. of eggs
  • 210 lbs. of vanilla
  • and 9,700 lbs. of syrup

That’s one heck of a shopping list!

4. President Washington and Jefferson Love Pecans

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson faces at Mount Rushmore
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson faces at Mount Rushmore

If our founding fathers loved pecans, we should too! George Washington was known to continually eating pecans and always had some in his pockets. He also planted pecan trees at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson also had a love for pecans as he planted pecan trees in Monticello.

5. Georgia Produces One-Third of All Pecans Produced in the US

An aerial view of a pecan farm in Georgia
An aerial view of a pecan farm in Georgia

Each year, Georgia produces around 95 million pounds of this goodie deliciousness with about 160,00 acres for planting. They harvest around October and December, making it ready for the holidays for pecan pies and other desserts. Georgia pecans can be purchased all year round too.

6. It’s Not Truly a Nut

A pecan is technically a drupe, a fruit with a pit, enclosing the seed by a husk. For the pecan, it’s a drupe because it’s outer layer is a husk and inside is the “nut”, is actually the part usually eaten. Drupes have three layers: an outer layer called the exocarp, a fleshy middle layer called the mesocarp and an endocarp(husk) — the hard, woody layer that surrounds the seed.

Drupes Layers of a Pecan
Drupes Layers

Other drupes are apricots, olives, loquat, peaches, plums, cherries, mangoes, and amlas (Indian gooseberries).

7. World’s Large Pecan

Worlds Largest Pecan Brunswick Missouri
World’s Largest 20th Century Pecan, Brunswick, Missouri

If you’re ever in the area of Brunswick, Missouri, the Pecan Capital of Missouri, and you’re into unusual attractions, the world’s largest pecan is one you won’t want to miss. The world’s largest pecan is located in Brunswick, Missouri, with a staggering weight of 12,000 pounds and is 7′ in diameter and 12′ long. This beast of pecan is not a real giant pecan, but a concrete-filled one. We can only dream that pecans can grow this big!

The town is also famous for its pecans and even hosts the Brunswick Missouri Pecan Festival from October 5 – 7.

Address: 119 W Broadway St, Brunswick, MO 65236 [Map]
Hours: Always visible
: Free

8. What’s the Correct Pronunciation?

young man shouting PEE can
A young man shouting PEE can

“PEE-can”, “puh-KAHN”, or “PEE-kahn”? There are different types of how to say pecan and most cannot agree which is the right way of saying it. There are different types of how to say pecan, and most cannot agree, which is the right way of saying it. In areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi, “puh-KAHN” is the dominant use. While on the east coast of the United States and in New England, “PEE-can” is mostly used. So, what’s the correct way? The experts say it doesn’t matter as long as the pecans are being eaten.

9. The 1996 Olympic Torch Had Georgia Pecan Wood In It

Muhammad Ali Lights Olympic Torch in 1996 Olympics
Muhammad Ali Lights Olympic Torch in 1996 Olympics

The Olympic Torch was constructed with 22 aluminum reeds and in its center, where it was held, is Georgia pecan wood. Gold bands were at the top and bottom of the torch.

10. National Pecan Day

People celebrating National Pecan Day
People celebrating National Pecan Day

April 14th is National Pecan Day in the United States and events are held to celebrate it. It was initiated by the National Pecan Shellers Association and has been celebrated since 1996.

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