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The Pecan is a species of hickory. My neighbour has one. It's an absolutely massive tree, quite possibly 30 or more metres in height. And almost as wide in diameter.

In season it is dripping in nuts. One day in the space of twenty minutes we filled four shopping bags from what we picked up off the ground. We had to stop because 1) the bags were about to burst and 2) so were our backs. There were plenty more still left on the ground. When got home we weighed them, 10 kilos of nuts!

Shelled they look a little like walnuts, but not so bitter. They are a tasty nut, almost sweet. Some say it has a rich, buttery flavor. The shells are thinner than a hazelnut or walnut, but thicker than a peanut. They don't crack easily, but I find if you put two or three in your hand and make a fist and squeeze hard at least one of them will give and crack. Though trying to break one on it's own without a utensil or any other kind of implement is almost mission impossible.

They can be used in cooking. No doubt you've heard of pecan pie. Though I've never had pecan pie. My wife said that she'd make me one but we got so carried away eating the nuts as is and also giving them out to friends and family that the plan of cooking up a pie never eventuated.

Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline.

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