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History The French created the PECAN PIE and pecan pralines after they settled in New Orleans and were introduced to the pecan by Native Americans Small villages of the Quinipissa and Tangipahoa peoples were located in the vicinity of present-day New Orleans when the site was first visited by a European explorer the Frenchman Robert Cavelier sieur de La Salle in 1682 Subsequently in 1699 another French explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne sieur de Bienville recognized the importance of the location and established a settlement in 1718 after he had become governor of the Louisiana Territory He named it Nouvelle Orlans for the duc dOrlans regent of France Pecans have their origins in prehistory The discovery of fossil remains along with millions of native pecan trees found along most major streams and irrigation canals in Texas and the northern part of Mexico indicate that this is the original home of the pecan and that it spread north and east from this area This also indicates that the pecan was here and producing long before Native Americans came on the scene The earliest recorded writings on the pecan by Cabeza de Vaca nearly 600 years ago chronicle that Native Americans planned their movements and activities around the maturity of the pecan or pacane which is a Native American word of Algonquin origin meaning nut to be cracked with a rock The Native Americans concentrated in the river valleys in the fall to harvest pecans and depended on the pecan as their major food resource for about 4 months of the year The first successful grafts of the pecan tree were done in 1846 by a Louisiana plantation gardener a slave named Antoine More History 1 More History 2The nut-bearing pecan tree Carya Illinoinensis of the walnut family is classified botanically as a species of hickory native to North America Pecan is distinguished from other hickories by its thin-shelled nuts with sweet kernels Nuts are typically
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