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What Are Pecan Pralines?

Aug 26, 2008
If you've never had the pleasure of tasting the delicacy known as pecan pralines, then you don't know what you've been missing. This tasty confection is particularly popular in the south but once you've tried it you'll soon see why it has a global appeal. To give you some idea of what makes pecan pralines so phenomenal, below is some information about what they are and where they came from originally.

A Tasty, Sugary Treat

The southern version of pecan pralines has one very important ingredient: quality pecans. That's not the case in other parts of the world where other nuts are more commonly used in this type of treat. Besides the nuts, you'll also have a great deal of other sweet ingredients, including brown sugar and granulated sugar. Butter is, of course, a necessity. Most southern recipes also throw in some cream to the mixture to make things even more unique.

You can sometimes find other ingredients added, such as rum or coconut, to create new flavor variations. However, these extra tastes tend to detract from the central goodness of the sugar/salt combination that makes your taste buds come to life.

Origins of the Treat

Pecan pralines did not get their start in the southern United States even though that is one of the places where they are the most popular. These candies were first invented in France by a 17th century cook who worked for a man who was big in the country's sugar industry. At the time, the treat was made by coating whole almonds in a carmelized sugar confection. Each of the nuts was coated individually.

The confection's name is said to have originated from Marshall du Pleiss-Praslin whose cook supposedly came up with the creation. However, no concrete evidence has established this as a fact.

Pralines around the World

Pralines are popular in France today and in some other parts of Europe, although most are not pecan pralines. The foreign versions are usually made with almonds or hazelnuts. You do want to be careful if you're looking for pralines overseas because the term is also used in countries like Germany to refer to filled chocolate candy instead of a nut confection.

Today, pecan pralines are probably most connected to New Orleans which makes good sense for two reasons. First, the city is definitely very influenced by French culture so the praline recipe probably was well-known in advance by people populating the area. Second, pecans are one of the few naturally growing nuts in the United States and they are found in the south. Some clever French settler probably adjusted the original praline recipe to substitute locally grown pecans for the more traditional French almonds.

Thanks to that simple change, pecan pralines have become quite popular outside of Louisiana as well.

Enjoying the Taste

Pecan pralines do have one of the most exciting tastes of any confection because there are so many things going on in your mouth at one time when you take a bite. Try one today.
About the Author
Tanner's Pecan is proud to offer a variety of holiday gift baskets, peanut butter fudge, chocolate pecan pie, pecan pralines, roasted pecans, and chocolate fudge. Visit Tanner's Pecans today for the best selection of Pecan Pralines and Pecans.
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