Pecans are a type of dried fruit from the United States and Mexico. It is in fact the fruit (even if in reality as we will see we do not eat the fruit) of a tree widespread in the southern United States and in Mexico. Like all nuts, pecans are very nutritious and high in calories.

Pecan nuts properties and benefits

Pecans in pport a really important caloric contribution also compared to the comparison with the different varieties of dried fruit, resulting among the most energetic.

The high content of vitamins and minerals makes them a very ndicated food to be included in the diet of athletes .

Even other people can take advantage of the benefits, for example the antisaturated fat content (the same as olive oil) makes them friends of the heart, just remember that seen the high caloric intake should be contained, especially by people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Nutritional values ​​of pecans

As anticipated, the caloric intake stands out. 100 grams provide a whopping 691 kilocalories. Among the vitamins, Thiamine (Vitamin B1) stands out with 0.66mg (more than half of the recommended daily allowance). Among the mineral salts: magnesium (121mg - 34% of the daily ration), manganese (4.5mg -214%), phosphorus (277mg - 40%) and zinc (4.53 mg - 48%). < / p>

History and cultivation

Pecan is an Algonquian word (a language common to a group of Native American tribes ranging from Canada to the central plains of the USA), in fact pecans were consumed by natives before arrival of the Europeans.

The "Indians" also used them as a bargaining chip since they are also consumable the year following the year of growth, even those found on the ground.

The history of the cultivation of pecans is relatively short, in fact even if we have seen that when the Europeans arrived the natives already consumed them, they have long remained a wild delicacy consumed as such. as much by natives as by settlers. Cultivation for commercial purposes did not start before the 1880s.

The plant is native to the Mississippi valley and in fact USA and Mexico share 93% of world production. Mexico which is the first producer reaches almost 50% while the USA produces an almost equal quantity, 75% of which is concentrated between Georgia, New Mexico and Texas.

The pecan tree has been officially the state tree of Texas since 1919 and pecan pie was declared the official state pie in 2003 Other states in the United States too somehow recognized the pecan tree and or fruit, but the city of San Saba in Texas has proclaimed itself the pecan capital.

Plant and fruit

The scientific name of the tree is Carya illinoinensis and belongs to the Juglandaceae family which includes 9 genera divided into about fifty species, for example the common walnuts also belong to the family but a different genus, the Juglans genus, while pecans belong to the Carya genus. ,

It is a large tree that grows between 20 and 40 meters in height (rarely exceeds 40) and 12-23 in extension of the crown, while the trunk can reach 2 meters in diameter. From a botanical point of view, pecan is not really a walnut but a drupe with a seed in the center protected by a shell. What we identify as the walnut is precisely this shell and the content is the seed, therefore the edible part is the seed of the plant.

Pecans in the diet

Given what has been said about nutritional values ​​it is easy to understand that pecans have many qualities and essentially only one risk: the risk is the calorie content if you do little exercise or tend to obesity . Instead, a moderate amount is a healthy source of good fats, vitamins and minerals. As anticipated, therefore, yes to inclusion in the diet of athletes. Unsaturated fats in addition to being friends of the heart (within a balanced diet everything is needed, even fats, but better if they are unsaturated) also have an antioxidant action. I said only one risk, obviously subject to possible allergies.

Half pecans in the kitchen

Well after discovering that pecan pie is actually the official Texas state pie, could we have chosen something else? The curiosity was too much.

Pecan pie

Essentially pecan pie is a walnut tart with corn or maple syrup. According to the purists it should be corn syrup but in Italy it is much more difficult to find than maple and therefore most of the recipes show maple syrup.


  • 300 g of shortcrust pastry
  • 60 g of maple syrup
  • 40 g of cane sugar
  • 30 g of butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 60 g of chopped pecans


about 60 g of pecans half

Among the many recipes I chose one that seemed easy.

A note on shortcrust pastry: obviously you could buy it already made otherwise I don't also provide the shortcrust pastry recipe, keep in mind (if you really want to try your hand at recreating the real American dessert) that Our shortcrust pastry is not the American one, the base they use for many of their desserts is a cross between a shortcrust pastry and a puff pastry ideal as a base for the pies of the Anglo-Saxon tradition which also includes the famous apple pie.


1) Preheat the oven to 180 °.

2) Stretch the pastry with a rolling pin on a lightly floured pastry board.

3) Line a pie mold with a diameter of 20 cm.

4) Preparation of the filling:

a) Mix the maple syrup with the brown sugar.

b) Add the melted butter and egg.

c) Work everything until you get a homogeneous cream.

5) Add the chopped pecans and mix

6) Pour the mixture into the shortcrust pastry shell.

7) Arrange the whole pecans on the surface.

8) Bake in a hot static oven for about 40-50 minutes.

Check with a toothpick the degree of cooking of the filling which must be quite firm, not liquid at all. If the tart gets too brown, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil for food on the surface.

Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Recipe source:


Data sheet

Carboidrati di cui zuccheri
Valore energetico (calorie)

Specific References

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