Christian LeJeune, Owner and Founder of SpoonDropped Candy Company, was born in Baton Rouge, and spent his formative years in New Orleans and Galvez, Louisiana. LeJeune began his quest in the kitchen at age five, shadowing his mother, aunts, and cousins in making traditional Cajun confections for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It wasn’t long before LeJeune was cooking side by side with his family and making his own candy. A passion never abandoned, LeJeune decided to bring a taste of Louisiana to the Land of Enchantment in the form of pralines. Using a French-made copper pot and traditional Cajun candy-making techniques, the pralines are “spoon-dropped” with a wooden spoon to cool.
Pralines were first made in France during the 17th century and are believed to have been named after the French diplomat, Cesar de Plessis Praslin. The actual creator of the praline was his personal chef, Clement Lassagne, though this origination has many stories. It was common practice for a man to make a batch of pralines for his sweetheart to share after their night out, especially during the courting phase! French pralines were made with almonds, but when the French colonists came to Louisiana starting in the mid-1700’s, the abundance of native pecans replaced the almonds to this day.
SpoonDropped Candy Company’s hand-crafted pralines are made with care and conscious from all-natural ingredients and are naturally gluten-free. The pralines are made using organic unrefined cane sugars, pure local Rasband cream with no additives (such as carrageenan and other thickeners), pecans, unsalted butter, and pure vanilla extract. The New Mexico Chocolate-Chile praline also contains 57% Guittard organic chocolate, Hatch red chile powder, and organic Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon has the lowest levels of coumarin of all the cinnamons and is considered healthier for the body to process. Pralines are a delicious southern delicacy on their own. They can also be used as a topping on ice cream, cakes, drinks, or mixed into other desserts. I hope that you enjoy my special gift to New Mexico and that it brings the soul and comfort of the Cajun culture to your tastebuds!