Bonjour Praline!

While New Orleans may be known for their delicious fried doughnuts called beignets, they are also home to the famous praline (pronounced two ways: “prah-leen” or “pray-leen”), a type of candy made with pecans and caramelized sugar.

Praline is believed to have come from the French term, praliné, which is the process of cooking nuts with a cream, sugar, and butter mixture.

The original French version uses almonds, while the Belgian praline is a chocolate candy with a hazelnut filling. The American version was developed by French Creole chefs who replaced almonds with pecans, which were abundant in Louisiana.

The first time I tried a New Orleans praline was when my boss brought back boxes of Aunt Sally’s Creole Pralines from her trip to “The Big Easy.” I was hooked after the first bite! Aunt Sally’s Creole Pralines has been making pralines since 1935. They’re gluten-free and they’re made without preservatives.

When the craving strikes, you can order them online (they ship worldwide). I purchased a box of 12 original pralines recently:

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday. It’s the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Christian tradition of Lent. During the Lenten season, many people fast or abstain from indulgent behavior during the 40+ days before Easter. Basically, Mardi Gras (February 16 this year) is the last day to have fun!

Instead of fasting, many people choose to give up something they enjoy, like smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, social media, using profane language, or eating sweets!

praline crumbled over chocolate chip ice cream

These pralines are so decadent, I just might give them up for Lent! 😉