National Pecan Day

Pecan trees are the only major nut tree that is indigenous to America and have not been found growing naturally anywhere else in the world. They are common in the Southern U.S., which is why pecans are commonly used in everything from pies to pecan pralines. Pecans are a member of the hickory family, and their name means “nuts needing a stone to crack” in Algonquian. These nuts are so common and loved in the U.S. that they have even earned themselves their own holiday, which falls on April 14th annually and is aptly named National Pecan Day. It’s a great day to enjoy these nuts as a snack, for making a pecan pie, or for making pecan pralines.

The History of Pecans

Pecans are nuts that were well known to Native Americans. In fact, they were a major staple of their diet, especially in the fall months. Native American people also used them to make nut milk known as powcohicora. The pecans were first ground into a powder and then fermented before being turned into a drink.

Over the years, Native Americans began to transition from foraging wild pecans to planting pecan trees. When European settlers began to arrive in North America, they would trade these pecans with them. During the 18th and 19th centuries, American colonists began planting pecan orchards. Nowadays, the U.S. produces over 80% of the world’s pecan supply.

Nutty Pecan Trivia for Your Enjoyment

If you’re still on the fence about whether you want to observe this holiday or not, then allow us to introduce some nice pecan-related facts to you. After you learn all you can about pecans, you’re definitely going to want to take the time to celebrate them.

  • Pecans aren’t really nuts. They’re considered to be drupes, like the stones found in plums and peaches.
  • Pecans can be pronounced in one of two different ways. Unfortunately, a lot of people disagree over which way is the correct one.
  • The pecan tree belongs to the hickory tree family.
  • It takes 10-12 years before a pecan tree reaches maturity and begins producing nuts.
  • Pecan trees can produce nuts for over 100 years.
  • Pecan trees have a lifespan of approximately 300 years.
  • This tree is the state tree of Texas.
  • Roasted pecan shells were a common substitute for coffee during the Civil War.
  • Even though National Pecan Day falls on April 14th, National Pecan Pie Day isn’t celebrated until July 12th.
  • During the 16th century, Spanish explorers called pecans “nuez de la arruga,” a Spanish phrase that meant wrinkle nut.
  • Native Americans would make pecan milk for babies and the elderly.
  • There are over a thousand different varieties of pecan nuts.

Observing National Pecan Day

How do you celebrate National Pecan Day? By enjoying pecans, of course! Eating these nuts straight from the bag, making pecan pralines, or pecan pie are great ways to kick off this day. Other ways to enjoy these nuts include making maple-pecan fudge, candied pecans, sweet potato casserole topped with pecans, or banana bread made with pecans. While you’re enjoying these nuts in all their glory, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalPecanDay to let the world know about this tasty holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
April 14 Sunday
Next year (2025)
April 14 Monday
Last year (2023)
April 14 Friday
Food & Drinks