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Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton


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Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

Myth America #2: Stuckey's


Pecan Log

"A little magic, a lot of hard work,

and an American tradition is born."

While it's not exactly known who created the very first pecan log roll, many would argue that it was Mrs. Stuckey who actually perfected it. The signature item within all Stuckey's stores and the "must have" purchase during family travel stops from the 1950's through today, the candy was first made in the candy kitchen attached to each store. In eight Stuckey's stores in the years after World War II, employees faithfully followed Mrs. Stuckey's original southern recipe. The maraschino cherry-laced nougat was hand dipped in hot, creamy melted caramel, then before cooling, freshly shelled pecan halves would be liberally sprinkled onto the caramel. Each pecan log roll was hand wrapped and delivered straight to the customer.                                                                                                       


Ok, I have to admit it-- I always succumb to the siren call of Stuckey's when I'm on the road. Having grown up back and forth between Texas and California in the '50s, I was practically weaned on Stuckey's sugary treats. Now, as a somewhat politically correct veteran of the vegetarian and natural food movements, I am appalled at the ingredients in a pecan log roll: sugar, of course, and corn syrup, OK. But marischino cherries and trans fats? Egads!


And yet, I always stop. Now I pretend that I will send the pecan log roll to my Southern friend, Kenley, who can appreciate my kitschy, road trip souvenir. More often than not, however and sadly, the pecan log never reaches Kenley! And why would I want to send a carcinogen log to a FRIEND anyway? Better to send a case to George W.


We are such creatures of habit, even when our current experiences and knowledge let us know in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that a Stuckey's pecan log roll will at the very least give us wicked diarrhea.  Still, my five- or eight- or even 12-year old self, yearning for that illusion of safety and the sweetness of life, longs for a Stuckey's. And my 59-year old self says yes. What can it hurt?





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