It is a species of hickory, native to Mississippi. A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The buttery-rich kernel is golden-brown on the outside and beige inside.
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They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts, but also in some savory dishes.
Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats. Like walnuts (which pecans resemble), pecans are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, although pecans contain about half as much omega-6 as walnuts. A diet rich in seeds can lower the risk of gallstones in women. The antioxidants and plant
sterols found in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing the "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.