No Pecan Pie? Thank China, Rain and Pigs

No Pecan Pie? Thank China, Rain and Pigs

Kim Severson at the New York Times reports that unusually high pecan consumption in China, combined with a poor growing season, are causing the current pecan shortage in the United States:

A rare collision of ill-timed rain, marauding animals and a growing love affair between the Chinese middle class and the pecan has resulted in the worst pecan supply in recent memory. As a result, grocery store prices are up by about 30 percent, which is causing Thanksgiving bakers to think twice about their menus.

[…] In the mid-2000s, the market for pecans in China began to grow rapidly. China now consumes more than a third of the American pecan crop, a development that followed the country’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization in 2001.

[…] Chinese shoppers prefer big varieties with thin shells, with names like Desirables and Stuarts.

“The ones that are real pretty on top of a pecan pie? Most of those have gone to export,” Ms. Krebs said.

[…] They are sold by the bagful and are particularly popular around the Chinese New Year, which is coming in January — earlier than last year, and soon enough to elbow out the Thanksgiving nut supply. [Source]

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