If I just keep it in my mouth without pressing down it feels like a stone. There are grooves that remind me of the hemispheres of the brain. My teeth chipped a small piece off the side and already I can taste the intense flavor, all over. I am crushing it. The crushing is extremely satisfying. I think there is a layer of cyanide around it, or something, because it tastes a little bit like poison at first. Then it’s like a symphony, so complex, the fatty gratification at the core, it’s beautiful. I don’t know what to compare it to. It’s woody… and fruity… I guess all tree nuts are woody and fruity.
More than cashews and less than almonds, it tastes like walking through a forest. It tastes kind of erotic too (maybe it is an aphrodisiac?) It also tastes “royal,” I feel. I don’t know why I don’t eat them more often. Usually I find the texture too dry? but here I am discovering the dryness is quickly overwhelmed by the fat. The texture is marginally unpleasant, I suppose, reminding me a of saw dust. Almonds also remind me of saw dust. Almonds taste great but I never eat them I think because they are too solid. Maybe I need more calcium for my teeth.
I am saddened that I have already swallowed. The pecan is gone. In the back of mind there is the presence of my grandmother, I think because she used to have whole nuts at Christmas. She also bakes with nuts a lot. I suppose, if anything, a vaguely abstract association I have with the flavor of pecans is the idea of a strong older woman. Not a plain old woman but a female with secrets, kind of mystical and witchy.
I have no idea what the shell surrounding the pecan looks like. I can’t remember… I’m sure I cracked one open, kneeling beside the couch, in the basement. While all of the adults were drinking, my brother and I demolishing nuts. It wasn’t for the reward of taste, it was for the act, a game. Seldom were we as children offered such sophisticated technology as the nut opener- nut opener? They are metal and so heavy. I hope there is machinery to de-shell several nuts at one time or else I cannot fathom how long it would take to produce one 100g bag of pecans. I wonder what country they are de-shelled in?
When I try to imagine the shape, I just think of the walnut tree in the old backyard. We were not encouraged to eat the walnuts but the squirrels did. I got a nail through my foot before I started kindergarden, walking below the tree while my dad was building a tree house. My mom told me to wear shoes but it didn’t register the request I guess, and I stepped on something sharp, causing me to cry, immediately, maybe more due to the shock of the sharpness than the actual pain. I don’t know. It wasn’t too deep, but it was probably the deepest penetration I had felt– besides vaccinations?– at that time. Plus I had just recently grown the mylenation to reflect on and remember pain. That is what I think of when I think of the raw walnut, green and hard like a little tennis ball.
They’re very magical, I think, unlike anything else on this planet- nuts. Dense in protein and actually, really, floral in flavor, not so much fruity. Yet they are robust. I want to say the pecan has both masculine and feminine tastes, but maybe that’s stupid?