Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to store pralines?
The best way to keep pralines is airtight. You don’t have to keep them cool, as they will not melt until they’re more than 200°F. Because we don’t use any preservatives, it’s best to enjoy your pralines with two three weeks after they’re made. They won’t exactly go bad after that, but the sugar begins to re-crystallize and they lose some of their delicious creaminess.
Why are there white spots on my pralines?
The second we scoop the molten sugar pralines onto the marble slab, the sugar begins to revert to its original crystalline form. The re-crystallization is what makes the white spots appear on pralines. We don’t use any preservatives, so we suggest that you eat our pralines within two to three weeks before they have too long to re-crystallize.
What is a Tortue and how do you say it?
Tortue (pronounced “tore-too”) is the French word for turtle, which is one of several common names for a caramel, pecan, and chocolate patty. We used the French name to give it our own French Quarter twist, and to make it as distinct in name as it is in quality.
What was that delicious candy I tried in the store? Why can’t I find it online?
The majority of candies we sell in the shops can be found online, but sometimes our chocolate makers get creative and make small batches of new candies we don’t have online but that we sell over the counter. Take a look around the website and see if you can find it under one of the main categories on the homepage, like French Quarter Favorites. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, feel free to give us a call. We’d be more than happy to reunite you with a favorite candy.
So how do you pronounce the word “praline,” anyway?
This is a hotly debated subject in our area and in our stores! Here’s our attempt to diplomatically address the topic.
In most of the United States, the accepted pronunciation is “pray-leen,” but here in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, we tend to say “prah-leen.” Why the different pronunciations? The candy gets its name from the last name of a 17th Century French Diplomat. Because of the large French cultural influence in the area, we’ve kept the French pronunciation, whereas in other parts of the country, it has been Anglicized. Which is correct? We’ll tell you from experience that it’s hard to convince a Texan to say “prah-leen,” and Chuck always says that a “pray-leen” is something you do in church. Ms Stephanie likes to tell our visitors that however your grandmother said it is the right way. We tend to agree.
Is a praline a nut?
The praline is the candy, not the nut. Pecans are the nuts that are traditionally in New Orleans pralines. We do make praline pecans, which are individual pecans coated with a thin layer of creamy, sugary candy.
In this country, we consider a praline to be a traditional southern candy made from sugar, pecans, and some kind of dairy. We use fresh cream, sugar, butter, and jumbo pecan halves in our pralines, which makes a creamier, less brittle praline. In European countries, however, praline is a creamy-textured preparation of chocolate and finely ground nuts, more along the line of a ganache, which is usually used to fill chocolates or pastries.
What makes a fruit glacé?
Glacé fruit goes through an age-old, painstaking preservation process wherein ripe fresh fruit or pieces of fruit rind are heated in thick, increasingly sugary solutions for up to several weeks. The heat evaporates the natural moisture in the fruit, replacing much of it of it with sugar. This process not only helps the fruit retain much of its’ natural coloring, it also prevents decay and creates an environment that is inhospitable to microorganisms, keeping the fruit safe for human consumption. Most glacé fruits can be stored for several years in any climate without any other preservation methods. Of course once we dip them in one of our silky chocolates you won’t be able to store them for too long--without them getting eaten, that is!
Don’t you all get sick of candy?
Not at all! We can safely say that everyone who works here has a weakness for at least one kind of candy. We’ll put it like this: if you work in fast food, you may get sick of hamburgers after a while, but if you work in a 5-Star restaurant, it’s doubtful that you’d grow tired of fine dining. We have so many different varieties of candy and such a consistently high-quality product that it’s hard to get sick of. Our favorites will change, but we’ll always have something we like.
I know you ship King Cakes, but I can’t find them online.
The King Cake is an old tradition for Mardi Gras, but just like wearing beads in the French Quarter, they’re only supposed to happen during the season. We start shipping out our delicious King Cakes on January 6th of every year and ship them until Mardi Gras Day.
When is Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras Season starts every year on January 6th, also known as King’s Day, which is the celebration of the day the Wise Men are said to have reached the Christ Child bearing gifts. The season runs until Mardi Gras Day, the date of which changes every year according to the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical calendar. Most of the time it falls in February or March, and the last three weeks prior to Fat Tuesday itself are when things really get going in the Crescent City. Come midnight on Ash Wednesday, however, the festivities are over and it’s time to get back to business.
(Mardi Gras 2014 falls on March 4th.)
Absolutely not! We only use your information for the purpose of getting the candy you order to its intended recipients. We do not sell or share any of your personal information with anybody else and we employ extensive security measures to prevent malicious persons from breaking into our data systems.
Where is the candy made?
All of our candy is made right on-site in one of our two Decatur Street store locations in New Orleans’ French Quarter. If you come to visit, you’ll see our candy makers hard at work every day making your candy right in front of you.
When I call the 800 number, who answers the phones? Where are they?
There are a few of us who answer the phones. We’re real people, and we work upstairs at our 334 Decatur St. location in the French Quarter. That’s where all the boxing and shipping magic happens, right on-site, steps away from the kitchens where the candy is made, so it’s all as fresh as it can be.
Is the candy labeled in the box?
Most of our candy is packed either in bags that have the information printed on them, or in a box that has a sticker identifying the candy on the outside, so we don’t actually label them in the box.
How do I get a catalog?
You can either email us with your address or call us on our toll-free number, and we’d be glad to send you one.
How often does your catalog come out?
We only put out one print catalog each year. We understand that people don’t want to have their mailboxes flooded with a thousand catalogs, so we will continue to send our one holiday catalog in the fall. We encourage you to check back at our website for any news, new creations, or updates we may have.
How long of a message can I put on your gift cards?
Our gift cards are about the size of a floral card, so although we won’t limit you to a certain amount of letters, we ask that you try and keep your messages on the short (and of course, sweet) side.
Are chocolate pralines just original creamy pralines dipped in chocolate?
The way we make our chocolate pralines so delicious is by incorporating two different kinds of chocolate into the recipe while they are cooking. They are not actually dipped in chocolate, and that is why they don’t melt like most other chocolaty things do.
What’s the difference between a Praline and a Tortue?
They are actually two very different candies, but they’re both delicious. A praline is a candy made with milk, cream, sugar, butter, and pecans, all cooked in a pot together and scooped onto a marble slab. A Tortue is a candy made of a layer of our own fresh handmade caramel sandwiched by a layer of chopped pecans and a layer of chocolate.
We aim to please, so if for some reason you are unhappy with your candy, feel free to let us know via email or over the phone. We treat each customer as an individual and are determined to resolve any problems so that everyone is happy in the end. As far as purchases made in our stores, we do not give cash refunds but will gladly accept unopened merchandise with the original sales receipt for store credit.
The only vegan/nondairy candies we have at this point are our glazed pecans. Our dark chocolate does contain nonfat milk.
We are able to make pralines for those with a mild-to-moderate allergy to tree nuts & peanuts by making them first thing in the morning, after the pot was sterilized with boiling water the night before. Just be sure to request “allergy pralines.” That being said, if your allergy is moderate-to-severe, we have to warn you that our candy is made on equipment that comes in contact with peanuts and/or peanut products, and that peanuts are processed in close proximity to our non-peanut candies. If in doubt, we would not suggest risking an allergic reaction.