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Pecans - Harvesting, Shelling and Storage

Aug 26, 2008
The Southern half of the United States is the home of the Pecans, which are members of the Hickory Family and its native to the valley of the Mississippi River. The pecan is a beautiful shady tree that offers a bountiful of nuts that are quite delicately delicious. Most people eat pecans only during the holiday season or in the form of candies, but the nut can be enjoyed all year round and the fact of the matter is that they contain such a great nutritive value that these nuts can be eaten on a daily basis.

The Harvesting

Pecans are harvested in October and well unto December. Once the shuck begins to open, the pecan is ready to be harvested. The best way to harvest would be to wait till the pecans are mature enough so that the simple shaking or thrashing of the branches will lead to the harvesting of the nut. However, it must be remembered that you can't let them mature for too long a time, as then they might just be eaten by animals or birds.

Moisture Removal

If the nuts have been harvested quite early in the season, then they are liable to have high moisture content and hence such pecans must be dried in the shell itself by placing them in thin layers on screens that have been elevated for this purpose. Another way of drying them would be by placing them in small mesh bags in a room or area that is well ventilated. It is recommended that these nut meats be kept in such conditions for around two weeks and which would dry them up enough to snap open while bending them.

Shelling Pecans

When you want to shell the pecan nuts, they must be placed in a damp place overnight so that the kernels do not remain brittle while cracking open. If you ask a few expert home food preservers, they will tell you that you can also soak these unopened nuts into boiling water for around 10 minutes or so. The whole point of shelling a nut is not about smashing it but by trying to keep the kernel as whole as possible. A hammer or a nut cracker is generally used for this purpose and therefore you will find that the pecans are generally whole and not broken. These pecan nuts are then spread out to dry for around 25 hours.

Storing the Pecans

When it comes to storing the pecans one must realize that their high oil content makes them perishable and hence they must be stored in a cool dry place to maintain their quality. You will find that packaged pecan nuts come in air tight containers and many a times are available in their frozen form. The fact remains that the storage space must be such that is away from the air and light. This is why; if you go to a shop, pecans are actually offered in jars or vacuum sealed jars.

We have tried to simplify the proceedings for you to help you understand as to what the pecans that you are eating, go through before they end up on your table.
About the Author
Tanner's Pecan is proud to offer a variety of holiday gift baskets, peanut butter fudge, chocolate pecan pie, pecans, roasted pecans, and chocolate fudge. Visit Tanner's Pecans today for the best selection of pecans and Pecan Pralines.
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