Antoine's Tree Inspired Pecan Recipes Make Great Edible Gifts
Best in Show: Edible Holiday Gifts
While Texas and Georgia are the leaders in pecan production, they owe the ability to produce them commercially to a slave and gifted gardener named Antoine at Oak Alley Plantation here in Louisiana.
Wild pecans don’t grow true to a parent, so commercial cultivation had been impossible. A. E. Colomb, a horticulturalist, was invited to Oak Alley in 1846 to work on the grafting project.
Antoine assisted him in the work. The horticulturalist’s own attempts at grafting failed and he died two years after arriving in Louisiana. It was Antoine who successfully completed the project.
Antoine’s tree, which produced large, papershell pecans, became even more famous when it was entered into the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. It won Best in Show, became known as the Centennial and a commercial pecan industry was born. Isn’t “Antoine’s Tree” a better name for it, though?
All the pecan recipes here make excellent DIY, edible holiday gifts.