The pecan (Carya illinoinensis), is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America.
A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is strictly speaking a drupe not a nut, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk.
Pecans first became known to Spanish explorers in what is now Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. More familiar with the genus Juglans, these explorers referred to the nuts asnogales and nueces, the Spanish terms for “walnut trees” and “fruit of the walnut.”
One of the most recently domesticated major crops – commercial growing of pecans in the United States didn’t start until the 1880s.
Pecan trees may live and bear edible seeds for more than 300 years
Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Like walnuts pecans are rich in omega-6 fatty acids
The antioxidants and plant sterols found in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels