AMERICAN NATIVE PECANS from MISSOURI
In the heart of the U.S. Midwest there exists a crop that grows wild and has supplied a delicious, nutritious bounty for hundreds of years. Missouri is home to the native pecan, a small but sweet nut that grows mainly in lush, dense timberland surrounded by rivers. Many of the trees that produce this rare pecan have survived since the time they were harvested by local Indian tribes and settlers. Knowing how rare but delicious the native pecan was, and wanting to be able to share the sweet pecan with the rest of the nation, five local grove owners banded together to start a pecan processing plant to help purchase and distribute the pecans. In 2000, Missouri Northern Pecan Growers (MNPG) opened its doors. Named the “Missouri Northern” pecan, this sweet little pecan that for so long had been enjoyed by only a few was soon to hit the market with a bang!
Because the native pecan is smaller than most, changing the concept that consumers have regarding size has been a challenge. “Bigger is not always better and smaller does not always mean smaller in flavour,” states Drew Kimmell, Managing Partner for MNPG. “The larger, southern pecans were hybridized, not to enrich the flavour, but simply to increase the size of the pecan. Our northern native pecan is the same as it was hundreds of years ago, the same sweet natural flavour, untouched by pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or genetic modification.”