- Pecans; the state tree of Texas - Texas has the highest number of native pecan trees in the United States aside from Georgia. Because of its prominent place in the agriculture of the state, the legislature decided to deem it the state tree of Texas in 1919.
- What about the shells? – Not only are the innards of the pecan tasty, but the shells the meat comes out of is also used in all types of wood products. From furniture to baseball bats to wall paneling, I'm not sure there's anything this nut can't do.
- Pecan vs. Praline – What exactly is the difference between a pecan and a praline? If you're like me you've always seen pralines but were confused as to what they actually are. Well, a pecan is a nut (obviously) but a praline is a type of sugary confection that's made using pecans (or sometimes almonds). Pralines do not occur naturally in the wild like pecans and are made using boiling water, sugar and the nut.
- Most antioxidants of all nuts – Antioxidants remove cell damaging materials known as free radicals from the body. The nut with the highest amount of antioxidants per amount is the pecan. In moderation, the pecan has been known to reduce cholesterol and bad fat from the body by as much as 32%. This is pretty impressive for such a small bit of deliciousness.
- Extremely resilient – Pecan trees are known to grow in the Sunbelt (southern and southwestern states) where they receive plenty of sunshine and water. However, the pecan tree is much more resilient than previously believed and can thrive in much colder climates. As long as there is a stable water source, the pecan tree has been known to grow as far north as New York and possible Michigan. How's that for a tough nut?
Everyone knows that pecans are delicious. We southerners are no strangers to these sweet nuts and wait patiently for an occasion to make pecan pie. But did you know that the pecan tree is the state tree of Texas? Not being from Texas, I definitely didn't know this. So, in honor of the versatile pecan, here are five interesting facts about one of the south's favorite nuts.