April 11, 2002 - Bayou Country

Pralines have been a sweet part of New Orleans life for about as long as there has been a New Orleans to have a sweet life in. "Try our coconut," says Denise Ott, as he hands a sample to a tourist. "Three pounds of coconut in that kettle. It's awesome!"

The Bayou Country Store on the third floor of Jax Brewery got there about 200 years after the praline, but they quickly added the French Quarter Candy Market to the store, and their pralines have been a legend ever since. And the legend was built by a couple who moved here from Baton Rouge.

One of them is Chris Currans, who told me, "What was available way back in the 80's didn't represent the city that well -- or the state. We started searching, and we put together Bayou Country, and we decided to do pralines because everybody comes to New Orleans for pralines, and it just kind of grew from there."

Stirring the kettle looks like hard work, eight hours a day with a huge paddle, but candy maker Sherman Lawrence says, "It's one of the sweetest jobs going, one of the sweetest!" In addition to traditional pralines, they have chocolate, coconut and peanut butter pralines. Can't get To Jax Brewery? You can order from their web site by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of this page.