In praise of pecans

When I was 11, my mum gave me what was to become one of my favourite books: one in the Mrs Piggle-Wiggle series. I still have it. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle is a wise old American woman, and all the parents in the town where she lives visit her with their irksome children and she magics up a ‘cure’ for them.

For a long time, I assumed pecan was the American word for walnut

This is where I first read of things like brownies (unheard of back then) and cookies and pecan pie. Even though I grew up in central London, pecans were had to find. For a long time, I assumed they were the American word for walnuts, the way that cookies stood in for biscuits. I still think of them as one of the more glamorous nuts, regaling the other nuts with their American accents.

This week I happened upon two beautiful bars, both of which featured pecans. The first was Miscos caramelised white chocolate and pecan crumble bar (£5.95, 100g). I’ve started to realise that although I don’t like white chocolate, if it’s been caramelised, then I do (as evidenced by the empty wrapper of Ugandan Latitude White Caramel – £4.95 for 70g – on my desk). The Miscos bar is just fantastic, creamy, crunchy heaven.

The second was Winchester Cocoa Company’s 38% Venezuelan milk slab bar with caramelised pecans and sea salt (£5.30, 80g). Irresistible: rich, creamy, nutty. While you’re there, lob some of WCC’s ‘strong milk’ 49% Venezuelan (£3.50, 50g) in your bag, too. This is a really superior milk chocolate with nice chunky pieces.