Despite a low supply of Georgia-grown pecans, Georgia producers are faced with lower prices for what remains of the pecan crop after Hurricane Michael. “With the crop pretty much cut in half in Georgia, you would expect to see a change in the market going up, but we’re not seeing that at all right now,” said Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist. Wells estimated the current price at 80 cents per pound less than what growers received last year. For example, the ‘Stuart’ variety averaged approximately $2.30 at this time last year. Now, the price ranges from $1.50 to $1.80, depending on quality. The price for the ‘Desirable’ variety has dropped from $3.10 last year to $2.30 this year.
Hard shell pecan enthusiasts know that these nuts have a discernibly sweeter taste than their shelled counterparts. These hard shell Stuart pecans make the perfect snack, punctuated with a satisfying “CRACK!” Plus, pecans are full of over 20 vitamins and minerals making them a healthy choice you can feel good about.
First, sort the pecans: Sort and examine the pecans. If, by chance, any pecans are cracked or damaged, throw them away. You should also throw away any nut shells that rattle, as they have likely gone bad. Choose your tools: A classic nutcracker, a specialized pecan cracker or a combination of side cutters and pliers are all good options for cracking and shelling pecans. Specialized pecan crackers allow you to crack and shell without cutting into any of the nut’s meat. No tools on hand? You could try gently squeezing two nuts against each other in order to crack the shell.
Boil the pecans: This is one option for prepping to shell pecans and some believe boiling the pecans before shelling makes the process much easier. If you decide to go with this option, boil the pecans in a large pot for 10-15 minutes. Allow the pecans to cool before starting the cracking process. Get cracking: As cracking and shelling pecans can be a messy process, we suggest setting up a work area with newspaper or in an outdoor space.
Features of Stuart Pecans
The Stuart Pecan is an old-time favorite and the most commonly cultivated variety in Georgia, instrumental in forming the state’s pecan industry. Crack open an in shell Stuart Pecan to enjoy the classic, slightly sweet flavor that’s perfect for cheese boards, pesto, and other savory recipes.