Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Grown Pecans

Pecans are one of the most popular all-season nuts. Pecans can be enjoyed many different ways throughout the year. Perfect for holiday baking and so much more.  In summer, ice cream; in fall, baked goods; in winter, confections; in spring, vegetables; pecans put the finishing touch on a variety of foods.  Pecans have an unbeatable flavor and are packed with important nutrients. Pecans are a good source of protein and are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium and the B vitamins.  Rich in potassiumand phosphorus, pecans also provide fiber.  They have been found to help lower cholesterol and contain only a trace of sodium.

Georgia is the nation´s leading pecan producing state.  In Georgia, pecans are harvested during October and November, but are available year-round. Pecan production is centered in Dougherty County, around Albany, with orchards ranging in size from a few acres to several thousand acres. Albany and Dougherty County are known as the "pecan capital of the world," because of the number of pecan trees in the area.

Buyers Guide to Pecans

  • Georgia pecans can be purchased year  round.
  • Look for plump pecans that are uniform in color and size.
  • The shell of a pecan should be smooth and light brown. 
  • Pecans are perishable and must be properly stored to maintain optimum quality.

Best Ways to Enjoy Pecans

  • Fresh, out-of-hand as a wholesome, natural snack.
  • Try pecans in dips, dressings and sauces to complement any dish.
  • Pecans make an excellent garnish for entrees.
  • Sprinkle pecans on tossed, pasta or meat salads to make a great lunch better.
  • Toast pecans for a tasty snack.
  • For a special treat, try pecan brittle or chocolate-dipped pecan halves.
  • Pecan pie is an all-time favorite dessert for many Americans.
  • Add flavor and crunch to vegetable  casseroles by including pecan pieces.
  • Pecans are a traditional ingredient to  many favorite holiday dishes.
  • Pecans make wonderful, inexpensive holiday gifts.

Fun Facts about Pecans

  • The pecan is native to the Mississippi    Valley region of the United States.
  • Pecans were first known as "Mississippi nuts" or "Illinois nuts."
  • Early settlers exchanged pecans for trinkets and tools.
  • Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees around Monticello.
  • By 1871, several large pecan groves had been planted in most of the southeastern United States, including Georgia.
  • Georgia´s commercial pecan production began during the late 1800s.
  • By 1948, Georgia´s pecan production  reached 40 million pounds.
  • The Southern Nut Growers Association, later known as the National Nut Growers Association, was established in Albany, Georgia in 1901.
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