Nibbling on a pecan log roll in the “wayback” of your mom and dad’s station wagon and enjoying the delicious taste of that Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll with its rich nougat center with just a hint of maraschino cherries, first wrapped in buttery caramel, then topped off by rolling it in an abundant amount of those sweet, savory, chewy pecans, did you ever wonder where exactly those pecans came from? Well, when you find out today, you just might be surprised at the answer as we look at exactly how that pecan gets from seed to Stuckey’s.
Growing a Pecan Tree
Growing pecans from seed is not as simple as it sounds. Unlike the acorn which you just stick in the ground and up shoots a mighty oak, growing nut trees is a little more complex.
Sure, you can plant one of those pecans you got in a burlap sack from Stuckey’s, but there are a couple of issues with that.
First, it can take 10 to 15 years before the tree even produces its first crop of pecans. Second, when that first crop is produced, the quality of those pecans is not guaranteed to be the same as those you ate out of that burlap sack 10 to 15 years before. That’s because pecans are what they call open pollinated trees, meaning that each seedling results in a one-of-a-kind tree. And since each seed’s parents are likely unknown, the quality of nut may be very different from the parent tree.
For those reasons, most Georgia pecan growers use grafting – inserting a cut twig or shoot from the parent pecan tree into a rootstock of a different pecan tree – to grow their pecans. This not only produces better quality pecans, but also takes less time, usually only three to four years, for the first crop to grow.
How They Harvest and Store Pecans
Georgia pecans are ready for harvesting in early to middle autumn when their outer husks fall off and the nuts start falling to the ground. Once they start falling off, a large sheet or tarp is placed under the tree and the tree’s branches are shaken to help them fall off. This is usually done with a mechanical harvester/tree shaker to make it even easier and faster to harvest the nuts. This process continues for two or more weeks after the pecans first start dropping.
Once the nuts are harvested, they go through a sorting process where premature and inferior nuts are separated from the superior ones. They are then stored at room temperature and air dried for about 10 days before they’re ready to be shipped out to market where they are mostly purchased by pecan processors.
Coming Out of Their Shell
Over 80% of all Georgia pecans sold in the U.S. are sold without their shells simply because people find them convenient and easier to use that way. That being said, most commercial pecan processers have two machines – a pecan cracker and a pecan sheller to satisfy customer demand. The pecan cracker first cracks open the pecan by hitting each end of the nut at the same time. After they are split open, the pecans are put into a shelling machine which vigorously vibrates the pecans and separates the nut meat from their shells. It also takes out that bitter thin, woody piece that separates the two halves inside the shell.
However, consumers also like their pecan halves to be fully intact, so it’s important to keep damage to the halves to a minimum. So, to prevent this from happening, some pecan processors will soak the pecans in a water/chlorine solution for a little while before putting them in the cracking machine.
While the pecan halves are great for Stuckey’s Pecan Pralines, we don’t mind getting broken tidbits of pecans like the ones you’ll find plentifully wrapped around those delicious Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls or mixed throughout our Pecan Divinity, Hunkey Dorey and all of our other pecany good treats.
So, that’s story of how the pecan get from seed to Stuckey’s in (and out of) a nutshell. The next time you bite into our world-famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll or any other one of our fine pecan candies, slow down and enjoy the flavor of all those savory Georgia pecans and appreciate all of that time put in getting them from the tree to your taste buds.
If all of this talk about Stuckey’s pecans has your mouth watering for some Stuckey’s, then don’t wait for the next family vacation or summer road trip to satiate your desire for America’s favorite road trip snacks. Spring into action now and have our “Welcome to Spring” Gift Box sent directly to your door. It’s got all of that pecany goodness you crave including:
2 – 2 oz. Pecan Log Roll
2 – 1.7 oz. Pecan Divinity
2 – 1.5 oz. Pecan Pralines
1 – 12 oz. Salt Water Taffy
1 – 8 oz. Hunkey Dorey
1 – 4 oz. Sea Salt Pecans
1 – 4 oz. Kettle Glazed Pecans
1 – Candy Shoppe Coffee Mug
1 – Plush 12″ Squirrel
So you see, you don’t have to worry about “squirreling” away all of your Stuckey’s pecan treats for your next road trip. Enjoy all of these other favorite road trip treats, cool Stuckey’s apparel and kitschy souvenirs that you’ll find at stuckeys.com today!
Stuckey’s We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!