Visit the snack nut aisle at your local grocery or convenience store, and you’ll see the shelves jammed with peanuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, and even macadamia nuts. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find pecans to grab and go.
Despite its unique buttery flavor, the forgotten Southern nut rarely gets solo billing and instead fights for space in the crowded mixed nut bag. So unappreciated is the pecan that there isn’t even an accepted way of pronouncing its name, prompting heated debates about pee-can versus pe-con.
This snubbing is even more remarkable given its ancestry: the pecan is one of the few edible nuts native to the United States, making it part of our country’s agricultural history. Today, 75% of the world’s pecan crop is grown in the United States.
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