Table of content A-Z


pecan (nut)


Botanical name: Carya illinoinensis



The pecan originally stems from North America. It takes its name from an Indian word; the American Indians survived many winters with the help of these nuts.

Meanwhile, the nut has spread to South America, South Africa, India, China and Australia, but most pecan nuts are still grown in the USA.


Pecans are available all year round. This became possible only after large areas of cultivation were also created in Australia.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Pecans are the fruit of various species of hickory tree. They are unmistakably related to the walnut.

Similar to the walnut, the brown nut kernel is divided into four parts. Growing on the tree, they look like large acorns. The smooth shell tapers to a point at one end and is gold to dark-brown and thinner than that of the walnut.

The pecan differs from the walnut in other ways as well; pecans taste milder, they are more aromatic and firmer.


Like all other nuts, pecans contain very little water. Together with the macadamia nuts they have the most fat or oil of all nuts, which makes them high in calories.

The pecan is very rich in fibre and contains large amounts of vitamins E and B1, niacin and magnesium.

100 g contain:

Pecan kernel
Energy (kcal)
Water (g)
Protein (g)
Fat (g)
Carbohydrates (g) (g)
Fibre (g)
Vitamin A (RE) (µg)
Vitamin E (mg)
Vitamin B1 (mg)
Niacin (mg)
Folic acid (µg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Potassium (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Magnesium (mg)
Iron (mg)
Saturated fatty acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Qualitatively good pecans should be heavy relative to their size and should not rattle in the shell when they are shaken.

Pecans keep for a long time. In the shell they remain fresh for 6–9 months if kept in a cool, dark place. Shelled nuts that are packed airtight can be kept without hesitation for several months.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Pecans are consumed in Germany mainly as a snack. They are also well-suited for baking or desserts. In addition, pecans are used as an ingredient of mueslis and to make confectionery. Pecan ice cream is especially popular in the USA.

Salads and meat dishes can also be enhanced with these nuts.


It is interesting that the astronauts had pecans with them on their excursions to the moon, usually as the only fresh food.





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  With the website the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.

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