What are Pecans?
Pecans are a tree-grown nut originating from the southern United States and northern Mexico. They are oblong and flat with grooves on the flat sides. Pecans have a white interior and a brown exterior. Raw pecans feel slightly soft and crumbly and have an earthy smell. Roasted pecans feel crunchy with an intense nutty aroma. Retailers typically carry whole, halved, and chopped pecans.
What Do Pecans Taste Like?
Pecans taste distinctly buttery and nutty. Raw pecans also taste sweet. Roasted pecans have an intense nutty and buttery flavor.
How Do You Eat Pecans?
Eat shelled pecans raw or roasted. Many people enjoy raw pecans as a snack on their own or mixed into trail mix. Pecans have great versatility, so they work well in both savory and sweet dishes. Candied pecans, pecan pie, and butter pecan ice cream highlight a pecan’s flavor. Pecans taste delicious in savory dishes such as pecan-crusted chicken or fish, spiced pecans, and alongside apples in salads. Other popular recipes that use pecans include sweet potatoes, pecan caramel sauce, and pralines.
Where Can You Buy Pecans?
Look for all forms of pecans in the baking aisle of the grocery store. If you want roasted pecans, find them in the nuts and dried fruits section of the grocery store. Some grocery stores may carry both shelled and unshelled pecans, typically located in the nuts and dried fruits aisle.
How Do You Store Pecans?
Store pecans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from light. To prolong the life of your pecans, store them in the refrigerator.
Fun Fact About Pecans
Many states in the United States call pecans their state nut!
Did You Know?
While we call pecans nuts, they’re technically the seeds of pecan trees.
Recipes Using Pecans
Candying pecans creates a delicious topping or snack. Toast pecans in a skillet with butter before adding brown sugar, cinnamon, and water. As the liquid evaporates, add vanilla extract and coat the pecans. Transfer the pecans to a baking sheet and bake for about 6 minutes.
Pecan Caramel Sauce
Use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce to create a delicious sauce. Heat homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in chopped pecans and coat in the sauce. Remove the pan from heat and serve warm or cool.
Chopped Pecan Topping
Create a sweet pie as a treat for the whole family to enjoy. Start by mixing corn syrup, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, and brown sugar together. Coat pecans in the mixture then pour all ingredients into a pie crust. Bake until cooked and cool completely before serving.