When you make a Stuckey’s stop, more than likely you can’t leave the store without getting at least one of our famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls for the road; today, however, we would like to introduce one of our other pecan treats and maybe you can think about giving it a try as well. Ladies and gentlemen – the pecan praline:

For those who have yet to try one of Stuckey’s pecan pralines, we’re guessing that it’s maybe because you’re not exactly sure what a praline is so a little history on the praline is probably in order.

Pralines can likely be traced back to Marchal du Plessis-Praslin, a 17th century French cook who coated almonds and hazlenuts in caramel, grounded them into a paste and them mixed the paste with chocolate. Of course, with something sounding that delicious, the praline quickly became all the rage throughout the French Empire, especially in Haiti.

They grow sugarcane in Haiti, and back then, it was their number one cash crop. As a result, French pralines made in Haiti could be made with locally harvested sugar straight from their sugarcane plantations. During the years 1791 and January 1804, Haiti had a revolutionary war of their own with the French causing many Haitians to seek refuge in New Orleans, Louisiana. And of course, many of those Haitians brought their praline making know-how with them.

The Haitian Revolution

Indeed it would be New Orleans where the famous French sweet treat would become the American praline. You see, in the 19th century, an enslaved gardener known only by the name of Antoine  learned how to grow and harvest pecans in Louisiana  and soon pecan plantations were popping up everywhere in the South.  

At the same time, local laws allowed slaves to sell their goods at New Orleans markets on the days when they weren’t working. Thus, historians believe that many enslaved Black women in New Orleans would make pralines to sell at these markets. However, since pecans were so plentiful around Louisiana at that time, they took the place of almonds and hazlenuts . They also added cream to the mix and what resulted was a delicious pecan treat that looks like a cookie but has the texture of fudge – the American pecan praline.

Pralines are still a popular candy across the American South today. In fact, for many people in the South, it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the tradition of eating pecan pralines. Many reminisce about their mother’s or grandmothers making the sweet pecan candy with that buttery, brown sugar smell that takes them back to Christmases past as much as the smell of a real pine Christmas tree.

It’s fitting that during Black History Month we thought of doing an article on the American pecan praline  – the creation not of French chefs, but of enslaved Black women. It is fitting because it is these creations that solidify the contributions that Black Americans have made to America and its history. For many Americans, but especially for Black Americans, it’s not only the lingering sweetness of the pecan praline that sticks to tongue, but the lingering tradition of making these reminders of the countless contributions that Blacks and especially Black women have made to our great nation that also sticks to our collective memories.

In the end, if it weren’t for the contributions of Antoine the enslaved gardener and the immeasurable number of Black women who sold these delicious pecan treats, perhaps we wouldn’t know what it is to stop in a Stuckey’s and enjoy a pecan praline for ourselves.

How about you? Are you ready to try a classic southern candy treat  made with fresh Georgia Pecans that has a perfect melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture? Or how about trying a couple at home after you’ve popped them in the microwave for a few seconds for a really warm and delicious treat?  Then stop by your local Stuckey’s and pick up a box of everyone’s favorite pecan praline today.

And for you die-hard pecan log roll fans, of course we’ll  always carry  boxes of your favorite road trip snack for kids and adults alike. That means make sure when you’re planning your next family road trip, be sure to include a stop at one of our Stuckey’s locations in your road trip itinerary.

And as always, if there’s not a Stuckey’s near you, we can always deliver our pecan pralines, pecan log rolls, pecan divinity bars or other fine pecan candies and Stuckey’s merchandise right to your home. Remember, Stuckey’s memorabilia such as our retro themed t-shirts, caps and mugs make great gifts, too, no matter the occasion.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!