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Fall Food Fiesta, Pecans

September 30, 2014 2 Comments

Pecans grow abundantly in Arizona, with large commercial groves to be found both north and south of the city of Tucson.  Green Valley Pecan Company is the largest pecan farm in the world.  I love the organic pecans from our neighbors just 20 minutes south of Tucson.  They sponsor the Sahuarita Pecan Festival to celebrate the harvest and get festive with the local population.  This year the festival will take place Nov. 8, 2014 from 9 am to 5 pm at the farm.  Parking is free until 8:30 am, and $5 per car after that time.  I adore food festivals.  I am a bigger fan of nuts than I am of wine, so this local festival is particularly appealing to me.  I am not waiting to start eating my organic Green Valley pecans.  I have already polished off half of the first bag I purchased eating them straight up. That is honestly my favorite way to have them.  I do cook with them, and when I was in Austin this summer I heard about a pecan syrup being used in bourbon cocktails that intrigued me.  My friend made a wonderful concoction of bitters by using a whole pecan in the shell as one of the local ingredients she was testing.  The flavor of the nut came out nicely in the final product, the shell lending some bitter notes.  My mother used to shell loads of pecans each year and give them to me as a holiday gift.  It was the best thing she gave me, and she kept doing it until she was very old.  She would spend a month or so shelling pecans in the fall for her holiday gifting.  She was from Texas, so I imagine this came from her childhood.  She made a decent pecan pie, but my mother, Ruby, specialized in pralines.  She made no other kind of candy, and it only happened once a year (for the holiday gifts).  She put pecans in her fruitcakes too, but then she ruined them with fruitcake (I was never a fan of this extremely labor intensive preparation).

Here are some savory examples of pecans for fall festivities:

Most of the classic pecan recipes are for sweets:

If you have made the ice cream you can them have a:

What is your favorite way to enjoy pecans, Gentle Reader?

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