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 Nutopia News 'N More 
Monday, September 24 2012
 

Pecans Were Popular From the Start

The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. The name "pecan" is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe "all nuts requiring a stone to crack.” 

Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favored because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste.

Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn. It is speculated that pecans were used to produce a fermented intoxicating drink called "Powcohicora" (where the word "hickory" comes from).  It also is said that Native Americans first cultivated the pecan tree.

Presidents Washington and Jefferson Loved Pecans, Too!

One of the first known cultivated pecan tree plantings, by Spanish colonists and Franciscans in northern Mexico, appears to have taken place in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. These plantings are documented to around 1711—about 60 years before the first recorded planting by U.S. colonists.

The first U.S. pecan planting took place in Long Island, NY in 1772. By the late 1700’s, pecans from the northern range reached the English portion of the Atlantic Seaboard and were planted in the gardens of easterners such as George Washington (1775) and Thomas Jefferson (1779). Settlers were also planting pecans in community gardens along the Gulf Coast at this time.

In the late 1770’s, the economic potential of pecans was realized by French and Spanish colonists settling along the Gulf of Mexico. By 1802, the French were exporting pecans to the West Indies—although it is speculated that pecans were exported to the West Indies and Spain earlier by Spanish colonists in northern Mexico. By 1805, advertisements in London said that the pecan was "...a tree meriting attention as a cultivated crop."

The Birth of an Industry

New Orleans, located near the mouth of the Mississippi River, became very important to the marketing of pecans. The city had a natural market as well as an avenue for redistributing pecans to other parts of the U.S. and the world. The New Orleans market gained local interest in planting orchards, which stimulated the adaptation of vegetative propagation techniques and led to the demand for trees that produce superior nuts. 

During the 1700’s and the early 1800’s, the pecan became an item of commerce for the American colonists and the pecan industry was born. (In San Antonio, the wild pecan harvest was more valuable than popular row crops like cotton!) 

Pecan groves (trees established by natural forces) and orchards (trees planted by man) consisted of diverse nuts with various sizes, shapes, shell characteristics, flavor, fruiting ages and ripening dates.  In the midst of this variability, there was the occasional discovery of a wild tree with unusually large, thin-shelled nuts, which were in high demand by customers.

In 1822, Abner Landrum of South Carolina discovered a pecan budding technique, which provided a way to graft plants derived from superior wild selections (or, in other words, to unite with a growing plant by placing in close contact). However, this invention was lost or overlooked until 1876 when an African-American slave gardener from Louisiana (named Antoine) successfully propagated pecans by grafting a superior wild pecan to seedling pecan stocks. Antoine’s clone was named “Centennial” because it won the Best Pecan Exhibited award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.  His 1876 planting, which eventually became 126 Centennial trees, was the first official planting of improved pecans.

The successful use of grafting techniques led to grafted orchards of superior genotypes and proved to be a milestone for the pecan industry. The adoption of these techniques was slow and had little commercial impact—until the 1880’s when Louisiana and Texas nurserymen learned of pecan grafting and began propagation on a commercial level.

Thus was the start of a booming pecan growing and shelling industry!

A Pecan Timeline

1500’s

  • Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans

1600’s – 1700’s

  • Spanish colonists cultivated orchards (late 1600’s - early 1700’s)
  • English settlers planted pecan trees (1700’s)
  • George Washington planted pecan trees (1775)
  • Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees (1779)
  • Economic potential for pecans realized (late 1700’s)

1800’s

  • Pecans exported by French to the West Indies (1802)
  • Pecan budding technique discovered (1822)
  • Successful grafting of the pecan tree (1846)
  • First planting of improved pecans (1876)
  • Commercial propagation of pecans begins (1880’s)
Source: Pecan Technology, Edited by Charles R. Santerre

For more information on this topic, please visit the source of this article at  http://www.ilovepecans.org/history.html 
Posted by: Nutopia News N' More AT 05:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 04 2012
 Peanut butter is for some, food of the gods. It can be eaten with chocolate, it can be eaten with jam, it can be smeared on chicken, and it can even be used in drinks! It seems that the uses for the wonderful stuff are endless. So, in order to prove that that really is the case, I have put together this list of 10 uses for peanut butter that you probably don’t know. Hopefully there should be at least one or two tips here that everyone will benefit from. If you know of other great peanut butter uses, be sure to tell us in the comments.
10
Lube It Up
 
 

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Peanut butter is an excellent lubricator. If your lawnmower blades are getting a little tight and rusty – smear on some of the spread and voila – perfect lubrication. This hint is particularly useful because almost every time I need lube, I don’t have any around – but I always have a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard. It can be used for virtually all your lubrication needs.

 

9
Animal Medicine
 
 

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If you own a cat or a dog, you will know how hard it can be to get them to take their medication – especially when it is in pill form. Fortunately cats and dogs lovepeanut butter – so next time you have to give them some medication, mix it up with a spoonful and feed it to them. No more struggling with the animal as you hold its mouth open and try to force feed it a bitter pill.

8
Butter Replacement
 
 

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Most recipes that use butter can be cooked with peanut butter instead. In cookies and cakes this can make a wonderful and subtle taste difference. Next time you are making fudge brownies, try using peanut butter instead – it will be like eating a huge Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. You can also stir peanut butter into a sauce instead of butter to give it a nutty finish.

7
Mousetrap Bait
 
 

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Mice are not particularly fond of cheese – so it is strange that it is the first food people go for when they are baiting their mousetraps. What most people don’t know is that mice prefer peanut butter – how this has been proven I do not know, but the fact that peanut butter is so much cheaper than cheese, makes this tip a very handy and frugal one. So next time you need to bait a mouse trap, don’t bother loading it with camembert or 5 year aged cheddar, stick on some trusty peanut butter.

6
Price Tag Removal
 
 

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Despite the major advances in science in recent years, no one seems to have managed to invent a label that can be removed easily without leaving any glue behind. Fortunately, we have peanut butter. Rub some of the tasty spread on the label glue and rub with a cloth – it works brilliantly.

 

 
 


 

 

5
De-fish the house
 
 

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If you have ever fried fish, you will know that it leaves behind a rather unpleasant fishy smell in the house. To help eradicate the smell, take a tablespoon of peanut butter after you have finished frying the fish, drop it in the frying pan and fry it off for a minute or two. The smell of peanut butter is the house is much more enjoyable than stale fish and oil.

4
Leather Cleaner
 
 

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Peanut butter is an excellent cleaner for leather furniture. Just rub a small amount on and work it in in a circular motion. Remove with a buffing cloth and there you have it! The caveat to this tip is peanut-butter smelling furniture. To avoid that you might want to mix a little perfume oil in it – but not too much. Also, if you do add the perfume, make sure you don’t mix up your jars or you will end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that tastes like mouth wash.

3
Peanut Butter Cookies
 
 

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This one doesn’t seem quite so weird, but it is included because these cookies use peanut butter as the main ingredient – there is no flour at all. The cookies are a mix of peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. You can even throw in a handful of chocolate chips if you wish. The resulting cookies are amazingly tasty and it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. You can read the full recipe here, which is also the source of the image above. The site is my sister’s, so check out the other articles too!

2
Gum Remover
 
 

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While it doesn’t happen quite so often to us adults, children often end up with gum in their hair. This would normally be followed up by a lot of tugging and pulling with a comb to remove it, and the eventual chopping of the locks. But what most people don’t realize, is that peanut butter is a perfect “gum remover” – not only will it remove gum from hair, but it will remove it from carpet and any other object that is tainted with the chewy stuff. Just rub some peanut butter into the gum and you can wipe the whole mess off with a cloth.

1
Shave With It
 
 

Shaving Face.Jpg

Believe it or not, peanut butter makes a great shaving gel. Just apply it like you would apply the gel, and shave as normal. It works just as well and anyone that has bought a container of shaving gel will know, it is a hell of a lot cheaper. The end result is a very smooth shave and, as a bonus, the oils in the peanut butter are very good for your skin, so you don’t need to spend even more money on moisturizer for your legs or face. You might want to remember to use smooth peanut butter though – the chunky stuff doesn’t work quite as well. 

For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at http://listverse.com/2009/03/01/top-10-unusual-uses-for-peanut-butter/ 

Posted by: Nutopia News N' More AT 05:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Nutopia Nuts 'N More/Deer Creek Market

109 W Main Street
Hydro, OK 73048
Phone: 405-663-2330 or 877-IGONUTS (877-446-6887)

Email: nutopianuts@gmail.com


 Nutopia Nuts N' More, formerly Johnson Peanut Company, has been serving Oklahoma and travelers on the historic Route 66 since 1942. In addition to peanuts, cashews, pecans, natural spanish peanut butter, candy and chocolates, we also offer assorted nut gift baskets and a corporate gift giving program. We are located in Hydro, OK but if you are not in the area you may also buy nuts online and experience why people come from all over the world for Nutopia Nuts.

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