Homemade Pralines Candies
Creole Lady Creation's homemade praline candies.
The French settlers brought this candy to Louisiana.
From France to the Banks of the Mississippi River, the Origins of the Praline
There are many variations on the story of how the praline came to be, but most of them revolve around the manor house of the 17th-century French diplomat Cesar du Plessis Praslin – a name that later morphed into the term for the candy. A chef in the kitchen here developed a technique for coating almonds in cooked sugar which, competing stories hold, were used by his courtly employer either as a digestive aid or as gifts to the ladies he visited. In France and elsewhere, the word praline is still used as a generic term for any sort of candy made with nuts.
These early confections traveled with Frenchmen to their new colony on the banks of the Mississippi, a land where both sugar cane and nuts were cultivated in abundance. In local kitchens, Louisiana pecans were substituted for the more exotic almonds, cream was added, giving the candy more body, and a Southern tradition was born.
The candy’s winning flavor has led to worldwide popularity, and, as such things go, varying pronunciations and hybrid recipes. For the record, the local and proper pronunciation is “prah-lean,” while the nut most commonly used in it is pronounced “peck-on.” Just remember that, in New Orleans, a word pronounced “pray-lean” means nothing except, perhaps, a posture the supplicant faithful assume while petitioning God.