Southern Sweet: Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Butter pecan caramel ice cream

Image via Wikipedia

I never knew there was anything special about pecans. I grew up in the suburbs of Mobile, Alabama. My neighborhood was built on the site of a former pecan orchard and satsuma grove. There were still pecan trees dotting many of our neighbors’ yards.

In Alabama’s southernmost counties of Mobile and Baldwin, pecan orchards are commonplace. Pecans were seemingly everywhere. My family members had crafty knick-knacks made out of pecans. I seem to recall one my mother owned was a two-tiered dish made for … holding pecans. That is literally meta nuttiness.

But I loved pecan pies, cakes topped with crushed pecans, pecan pralines, a single pecan on a dollop of divinity and, when summer rolled around, a heaping bowl of butter pecan ice cream.

You see, I didn’t realize pecans were special, because I thought they were exceedingly common. As it turns out, the South is the bastion of the global pecan industry … assuming there is such a thing. (It’s late, I have a headache, and I don’t feel like trying to determine if Wikipedia is lying to me right now. So I just didn’t bother.)

There is a multitude of pecan-specific dishes in the Southern Sweets Showdown, but none so brilliantly combine ingredients as does this one: cold vanilla ice cream, flavored with a hint of butter and a generous portion of toasted pecans. Does it get any better? I think not. And my peeps down in the 36619 would likely agree.

To vote for Butter Pecan Ice Cream in the Southern Sweets Showdown, click over to our Facebook page or take the poll here on the site.

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