National Pralines Day is commemorated on June 24 to celebrate praline, one of the most-loved nut-based creamy confections.

Pralines are sweet treats made with nuts, either in whole pieces or a ground powder, added to sugar syrup. The name praline also refers to any chocolate cookie containing the ground powder of nuts.

The recipe for making pralines was believed to be created by Clement Lassagne, the personal chef of a French diplomat during the 17th century. The culinary experts now believe that from France, these tasty treats were introduced to New Orleans in the early 18th century by the Ursuline nuns.

They then taught casket girls who were meant to marry New Orleans colonists, the art of praline making along with training them in academics and domestic work.

The recipes got tweaked over time, almonds got switched with pecans because of their availability in New Orleans, and cream was introduced to thicken the texture. Some people add vanilla and maple for the enhanced flavor. However, the basic recipe of praline still involves mixing pecans, dairy, and sugar.

Fun Facts about Praline:

  1. There are three main types of pralines -- Belgian Pralines, French Pralines and American Pralines.
  2. The pronunciation of praline is different in different areas. In New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, where there are many French settled communities the pronunciation is "prah-leen" while, the pronunciation in other areas like Texas, Georgia, and New England is "pray-leen."
  3. The most expensive chocolate praline in the World is worth $240,000. This unique piece of chocolate made in Brussels, Belgium, tastes of ganache and caramel, with the help of ginger and edible gold leaf. What makes these pralines stand out is the garnishing of a 3.63-carat diamond on every single piece.
representational image pixabay

Here are some quotes about pralines:

  1. "Every day after school, for three hours a day, I would sell those pralines on the street corner. I was just eight years old. I'd bring the money home to my parents and say, 'This is just the beginning.'"- Richard Simmons
  2. "I make a mean pecan pie, and I have a great recipe for pralines - also using pecans. Pralines take a lot of patience, and patience is a must in the duck blind as well as in the kitchen. Good things come to those who wait."- Phil Robertson
  3. "It was always easier for me to show love than to say it. The word reminded me of pralines: small, precious, almost unbearable sweet."- Jodi Picoult
  4. "I loved him more than I loved pralines and beignets, and that was hardcore because my love of sugary, sweet things rivaled the most epic love stories known to man."- Jennifer L. Armentrout