National Pecan Day

Young woman baking pecan cookies in a cozy kitchen, wearing an apron and holding a wooden rolling pin, surrounded by jars of pecans and freshly baked goods.
National pecan day illustration

Raise a spoon, or a handful, because the sweet and crunchy goodness of National Pecan Day is coming! Whether you like them in pies, cookies, or just plain, there's no nuttier day to be a part of. Preheat your ovens, free up some pantry space and limber up those nutcrackers, it's about to get nutty!

When is Pecan Day?

It's national pecan day on the 14th April.

Cracking Open the History of National Pecan Day

Now, you may be wondering how exactly we got around to celebrating a day dedicated to these tasty, nutritious nuggets. Like many good things, we're not exactly sure when or why National Pecan Day started. But what the pecan lacks in day-origin, it more than makes up for in culinary history.

Pecans - A Nutty American Original

Did you know the humble pecan is one of the few nuts native to North America? The pecan tree is actually the state tree of Texas, and the word 'pecan' itself comes from an Algonquin term meaning 'a nut that requires a stone to crack'. And we thought cracking a joke was hard!

A Day for Pecan Lovers Everywhere

National Pecan Day has exploded in popularity, with our data showing a whopping 3086 online mentions, with April 14, 2015, being a particularly nutty day. It seems folks have really taken this national celebration to heart, or maybe stomach is more appropriate. Regardless, whether you're hosting a pecan themed potluck or just munching away solo, it's clear that this day has found a sweet spot in people's hearts (and bellies)!

History behind the term 'Pecan'


Introduction to the pecan

Originally cultivated by Native American tribes in what is now the southern United States, the pecan tree has a long history. The name 'pecan' comes from the Algonquian word 'paccan', meaning 'a nut so hard as to require a stone to crack'. Pecans were an important food source and were also used in various traditional dishes by Native Americans.


Exploration and European influence

As European settlers expanded into the American South, they encountered the rich abundance of pecan trees. Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate is believed to have introduced pecans to Spain in 1602, but it was not until the mid-18th century that pecan trees were actively cultivated and planted by European settlers in what is now Louisiana and Texas.


Commercial cultivation and popularity

In the mid-19th century, commercial cultivation of pecans began to take off. Pioneers like Major James E. Mease, an American horticulturist, advocated for the planting of pecan orchards, realizing the potential economic value of the nut. Pecans gained popularity not only as a food source but also as an ingredient in desserts and various culinary creations.


The pecan industry flourishes

By the late 19th century, the pecan industry began to flourish. Improved transportation networks allowed for easier distribution of pecans to larger markets, leading to increased demand. The introduction of mechanical shelling machines in the 1880s further accelerated the growth of the pecan industry, making pecans more accessible to consumers.


The rise of the 'paper-shell' pecan

In 1925, a breakthrough in pecan cultivation occurred with the development of the 'paper-shell' pecan. This variety of pecan had a thinner shell, making it easier to crack and increasing the yield of edible nut meat. The 'paper-shell' pecan became a game-changer for the industry, as it made pecan consumption even more convenient and enjoyable for consumers.


Pecan as America's official nut

In 2008, the pecan was declared the official nut of the United States, cementing its cultural and culinary significance. The declaration was made by the U.S. Congress, recognizing the pecan's deep-rooted history and its importance to American cuisine, particularly in traditional dishes like pecan pie. Today, pecans remain a treasured and iconic nut, enjoyed in a wide variety of sweet and savory recipes.

Did you know?

Did you know that pecans are not technically nuts, but are actually a fruit called a 'drupe'? A drupe is a fruit with a single pit surrounded by a husk. Who knew? Pearhaps (get it?), we should be calling it National Drupe Day!


awareness food fun loved ones

First identified

19th March 2015

Most mentioned on

14th April 2015

Total mentions


Other days


Biscuit Day

cheese lovers

Cheese Lovers Day

cheese pizza

Cheese Pizza Day


Bacon Day


Agriculture Day


Pumpkin Day


Foundation Day

medal of honor

Medal Of Honor Day


Guac Day

drink a beer

Drink A Beer Day