by Jill Dutton

USA TODAY 10Best

Everything you want to know about pecans

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The pecan tree is the only nut tree native to North America. 

The word "pecan" is an Algonquian word, meaning "a nut requiring a stone to crack."

Technically, the pecan not truly a nut, but rather a drupe – a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. 

It takes between 7 to 10 years before a pecan tree begins to produce a full supply of nuts. Once the process starts, a tree can sometimes produce for more than 100 years.

Delicious & Nutritious

Pecans are also in the category of "good" fat, mostly monounsaturated, low in carbs, high in fiber, and thus especially popular for low carb snacking.

Vitamins & Minerals

The nuts are nutritious providing 19 vitamins and minerals, high in B vitamins and manganese. And they may just be a heart-healthy addition to any diet.

Georgia, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma are all large producers.

New Mexico

This state is the largest national producer of pecans, generating about 30 percent of annual pecan production in the U.S.

San Saba, Texas

Nicknamed the "Pecan Capital of the World" it is home to the world’s largest and oldest pecan tree, known as Mother Pecan. The tree is close to 200 years old.

Florence, South Carolina

This town celebrates pecans with the South Carolina Pecan Trail. Pick up a Pecan Trail Passport and follow the trail to visit 20 restaurants serving pecans in various incarnations.

Learn more about pecans on USA TODAY 10Best!

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