How To Choose Pecans From Trees
Pecan trees fully mature and bear fruits after seven to ten years, although few varieties may bear fruit nut after a few years. When the nut is fully developed, the husk that contains it falls to the ground. If you have to pick pecans from the trees, it is better to go after a younger tree. Younger pecan trees give bigger and heavier nuts than the older trees.
As pecan trees grow older, they are likely to produce lesser nuts. As the tree ages, pecan nuts also get lighter in size. If you are a pecan grower, you must harvest immediately following nut crop. This way, the kernels preserve a light color as the sunlight can turn the kernels a darker color.
Which Variety Of Pecans To Buy?
There are hundreds of varieties of pecans you can choose from. Although the overall taste and shape of all the pecans is very similar, there are still numerous differences between different varieties. They vary in flavor, shape, size, thickness of shell, and oil content.
Native and wild pecan varieties have a thicker shell, nuttier taste, and resistance to high temperatures. On the other hand, most new varieties have thin shells, nutty flavor, high oil content and resistance to some common disease.
See which pecan varieties are available in your state. If you want to enjoy raw pecans as a snack then get those with higher oil content as they have more rich and buttery flavor. If you have to use pecans to make pies or other deserts, classic or native varieties would be fine. Remember, native pecans can be a bit harder to chew, so if you have older people or toddlers at home, you might want to have new pecan variety.
How To Choose The Best Pecans From Store?
When buying pecans from the store, you should choose the best quality of pecans. The color, size and shape of the pecans should be consistent. Pecans in jar or pack that are uniform and consistent indicate good quality. The color should be light brown with no spots or shriveling. Make sure the pecans are plumped and are not too small, unless you are buying a particular type that naturally has a small size.
If you are buying pecans in shell, then look for pecans that have lose or cracked shells and steer away. If you are buying flavored and processed pecans then check the ingredients. Make sure there are no harmful preservatives or color dyes.