Ari's Top 5

Zingerman’s Spiced Pecans

Zingerman’s Spiced Pecans. An annual holiday classic handcrafted across the ZCoB.

An annual holiday classic
handcrafted across the ZCoB 

I can’t remember when we first started making spiced pecans a holiday treat. What I do know for sure though is that over the years, they’ve become a Zingerman’s classic—people start asking me in August when they’ll be available.

In our never-ending effort to always improve what we do in small but meaningful ways, I’m happy to say that spiced pecans are literally tasting better than ever! About 10 years ago now, we took the pecans themselves up a notch too, when we started buying them from the South Georgia Pecan Company in the town of Valdosta. The firm today is owned and run by the Work family who bought it a year after we opened the Deli (i.e., 1983), but for historical context, the company was started in 1913 by one of the first Jewish families in town, the Pearlmans.

The pecans are pretty darned delicious—fresher tasting, and a small, but meaningfully, bit more flavorful than what we’d been getting. (We sell the pecans at the Deli in their un-spiced, natural form. Pick up a bag next time you’re in!) After being toasted with butter, the pecans get tossed—while still warm—with lots of freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper, Jamaican allspice, ginger, Indian cloves, and other enticing spices.

The spiced pecans are delicious, just as they are. Bring a bag in the car or on the plane if you’re traveling. If you put a bowl of them out at most any gathering, they’re pretty sure to be gone before you know it. They’re also excellent in the kitchen—try them chopped, then tossed onto gelato, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, or green salads. They pair particularly well with blue cheese—I love them with the Roquefort—and also with fresh slices of pear or apple. Coarsely chop some and toss them on top of rice pudding or noodle kugel. Or try sprinkling some atop your holiday stuffing.

They make a great little nibble when you’re partaking in a bit of bourbon, too. In the spirit of how we have long defined “full flavor” here at Zingerman’s (see “A Taste of Zingerman’s Food Philosophy” for more on this), the Spiced Pecans have a wonderful complexity. They are nicely balanced so that the flavor of all the spices, butter, and nuts come together as you eat. And they have a lovely long finish that you can savor long after you’ve stopped eating.

Available at the Deli, the Candy Store, and Mail Order.

Pick up pecans
Ship some spice

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