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Pecan Pie, How I Love Thee

By: Brian Harris
| November 23, 2020 |

Pecan Pie, how I love thee. And yes, I know love is a strong word not to be taken lightly. But let’s admit, how surprised are you to learn a fat kid loves a particular food? Not me.

So why Pecan Pie or really the pecan in general? I’m here to tell you all the reasons…

Memories

I’ve been a fan of pecan pie as far back as I can remember. It was a dessert option at both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals held at my house growing up. So when I think of pecan pie, or better yet taste it, it brings up good memories.

My mom nor wife have to my knowledge ever tried to cook one so they basically have remained a treat that only is consumed at these traditional meal times. It’s kind of a blessing, to be honest (refer to paragraph 1). 

I have many memories growing up that include spending time in a particular pecan grove that now no longer exists. I can remember picking the pecans, placing them in brown paper bags, and then taking them back to my grandparents’ house. I flew kites in a clearing of it with my grandparents too. Later on in life, I spent two years riding a tractor around the pecan trees cutting the grass, picking up limbs, etc. 

The History

Pecan trees tend to be found natively near the Mississippi river stretching into Alabama. It wasn’t until after the civil war that they made it to Georgia which now is the largest producer of Pecans. The name of the nut itself is derived from the French word pacane, which is taken from the Algonquian word for “nut.” It led some to believe that the pie originated in New Orleans because of the strong French history – but it appears to have more origins in Texas. 

Not only has the pecan been used in the pies that I love, but they’ve even made it into salads, cakes, candles, cookies, and I even found a brewery in Southern Mississippi making Southern Pecan brown ale. 

Even in the pie world – multiple variations, or as I like to call them abominations can be found. Just kidding. But I will say chocolate does not belong in the pie which tends to be one of the most common things people add. Will I still eat them? I refer you back to paragraph 1 once again. No pie shall be left behind. 

Priesters Pecans

Pecan Pie, How I Love Thee 1

If you have ever traveled down I-65 south of Montgomery you most likely have seen a brown wooden building near Ft. Deposit. Priester’s Pecans resembles a Cracker Barrel location in some ways. Lots of rocking chairs, tour buses, plenty of parking, and tons of southern charm. Basically, this is a kind of mecca for pecans and pecan lovers. Behind the building, you’ll find a factory where all the magic happens. 

One of the highlights is their sampling table. Ever wondered what a praline or cinnamon pecan would taste like? This is your opportunity. Honey glazed, key lime, and frosted praline are some of the other options. Pecan Divinity is well, divine. 

Not only can you taste test the pecans, but you can also buy what I have determined is the best pecan pie. Priesters has quite literally perfected it. It’s never overdone. The quality of the pecans is that of a thick jelly with a roasted, chopped, and whole pecan topping. The crust is tender and flaky. 

Here in Montgomery, Priesters opens a pop-up shop in one of our largest shopping centers – EastChase, every Thanksgiving/Christmas season. This saves me a personal trip to Ft. Deposit as now I can head over there and pick up as many as I need. 

If pecan pies aren’t reason enough to enjoy the pecan, I’d like to leave you with a list of pecan facts that will hopefully convince you to give them a chance: 

  • Pecans are healthy for you. It’s really the Kairo syrup that’s bad but oh so good that gets added to the pie.
  • Pecans promote heart health. They have the good fat that you need.
  • Pecans are high in fiber and can help to reduce lower cholesterol.
  • Pecans are low in sugar.
  • They can boost your brain which explains so much about what makes me who I am.
  • They’re helpful for weight loss and weight gain when eaten in pie form. 

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