More About National Pralines Day

During the seventeenth century, France’s Marshal du Plessis-Praslin was responsible for the fame and name of the praline, but many believe that it was his chef, Clement Lassagne who was the true creator. In one account, the idea for pralines came from Lassagne’s children who snacked on the leftover almonds and caramel from earlier culinary projects which inspired the idea. In another, the children had caramelized almonds over a candle and Lassagne followed the scent and discovered the magic of the mixture. And in yet another, Lassagne’s apprentice accidentally knocked a container of almonds into a vat of cooking caramel. Pralines were brought over from France to New Orleans by Ursuline nuns in 1727. They oversaw young women called casket girls who, under the request of Bienville, were meant to marry New Orleans’ colonists. The casket girls were taught the art of praline making along with academics and domestic work for the purpose of becoming good wives to the settlers. Pralines became part of the local tradition in New Orleans, and now they’re an essential part of creole cuisine. In the nineteenth century, the ingredients switched from almonds to pecans because of their availability in New Orleans, and cream was used to thicken the texture. Women in the French Quarter who sold pralines were called Pralinieres and selling pralines gave free people of color job opportunities when work was limited. Instead of being indentured servants or kept-women, women of lesser means were given more autonomy thanks to this alternate avenue of income. The praline expanded into other parts of the country and they became popular in Texas and Georgia as a favored southern confection, but it all began in The Big Easy. Pralines haven’t changed much from their original form. The ingredients still consist of pecans, dairy, and sugar, and some have added vanilla and maple for more flavor. People have experimented with pralines in many different ways, but the original is still just as loved as it was back then. The creamy sweetness of this confection still holds its own amongst many other tasty treats.

Date & Time

June 24, 2022

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