There’s nothing that says “sugar” like a praline.
And, there’s probably nothing that says “New Orleans” better.
My first exposure to a praline (praw-leen) was as a kid. I clearly remember walking along a street with buildings that seemed to have front porches, complete with planked boards and awnings. Inside one of those fascinating buildings was a candy store.
As a chocolate fan, the pralines didn’t really catch my attention, until I realized they were definitely the star attraction. Nuts, cream, sugar, butter. Oh, yeah. With the more refined tastes of adulthood, who needs chocolate?
Of course, pralines are one of those delicacies subject to interpretation, and some versions use cocoa or are chocolate-coated. Aunt Sally’s, probably one of the most renowned candy stores in the country, even carries a Bananas Foster version, combining two great New Orleans’ traditions.
So, we challenged our chefs to come up with a praline recipe—one that would whet the appetite of people who are following our coverage of the Gulf Coast. Because, while we can’t sugar coat the seriousness of what has happened in the Gulf, we can make it just a little sweeter to think about the future.