From the United States to Valle del Guadalhorce
Pecans are a variety of nuts that come from hickory (Carya illinoinensis). This product is not what we normally think when we talk about walnuts: it is longer and its sehll is smooth and soft, similar to the shell of acorns. This inner part of a pecan is very similar to traditional walnuts, although there are some differences in flavour, since pecans are less bitter and more oily.
The production of pecans in Málaga is located throughout the whole region of Valle del Guadalhorce, where the climate has the perfect conditions for this tree: it alternates between periods of warm weather with periods of cold weather. The most commom variety of pecans grown in Málaga is the ‘Mahan’, with a longer shape, big size, rich flavour and easy peeling. There are some less common varieties in our province such as Western Schley, Pawnee, Wichita, Lakota or Wake. The growing of pecans in Málaga is practically new. However, the production gets bigger every year. Today, there are more than 300 hectares that grow pecans just in the region of Valle del Guadalhorce, where the annual production goes up to 200 tons.
Many farmers have seen in the pecan tree a market oportunitive that could replace citrics, since this tree does not require much care and its fruit is very demanded in the market.
Nutritional value of pecans
Pecans are healthy for every kind of diet, specially for pregnant women (its high content of folic acid is needed for foetal development), to reduce bad cholesterol, to reduce hypertension and to prevent prostate cancer. The energy intake of pecans is also very high (700 calories per each 100 grammes) so the recommended serving per day is just a handful of them. Pecans are 70% fat, 14% carbohidrates, 9% proteins and the rest is water, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They also contain omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids like the ones present in olive oil.