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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Enjoying the Praline and Its History

If you have not done so yet, bite into a praline slowly. Enjoy the soft texture, the crisp pecans, and the creamy feel of the caramel-like topping. As you do, you will be tempted to grab a glass of milk and find a hiding spot to enjoy this luscious treat. Many people find that this very sweet treat is one of the best ways to remember the South, which is where they have been popular for decades. On the other hand, you may have memories of a long lost loved one making these in an old kitchen.

What Is It?

Often confused with a cookie, the praline is a type of dessert treat. It is about the shape and size of a cookie, but it has no cake-like filling or texture to it. Rather, a thick syrup, which can be made from simple sugars, maple syrup, or other sweet combinations is boiled until it thickens. Then, the very hot candy is worked to create the thicker substance and candy-like texture. The mixture often covers pecans, though other nuts can be used as well. The end result is a very sweet treat that is ideal for those long days when you simply need to getaway and cannot do so.

Where Did They Come From?

Depending on where you are in the South, chances are good you will hear stories about the creation of these treats. Most stories differ on the creation of them. However, most people agree that these decadent treats came from France. During the early portion of the 17th century, a man named Cesar duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin is said to have created them. More precisely, this diplomat's personal chef is believed to have created these treats. Of course, the story changes from one version to the next, but the facts remain the same. These French-inspired treats were very popular in New Orleans when the French dominated the area.

The original version was a sweet confection. It was made not with pecans, but with almonds. It has some type of sugary, creamy coating that was boiled until it caramelized. In fact, if you visit France, you may find a small shop called Maison du Praslin. It is said to be the sweet shop that the personal chef opened when the praline gained enough attention to warrant it.

Regardless of the history of this decadent confection, many people today enjoy them in the South. You can purchase them in various styles, but one thing is for certain. Once you bite into a praline, it will be very difficult to walk away from them again.

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