Mabel’s Gourmet Pralines
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published September 30, 2011

The tasty candy will be available for the third time at this year’s Taste of Soul.

We all love candy because it’s something that reminds us of our childhood or a pleasant memory. One particular candy holds memories for many and is just plain good… pecan pralines. Shaundra Christmas owns an exclusive pecan praline store, Mabel’s Gourmet Pralines, in Long Beach, CA. She has been making pecan pralines for many years and will be making them for Taste of Soul.

Christmas is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and resides in Long Beach, CA. She uses a family recipe for her praline candies and has been making them since she was a child. Christmas’ candy took off with the public after helping her daughter.

“[It] actually started as a fundraiser at my daughter’s school,” said Christmas. “After the fundraiser was over, the request continued for the pralines and I just started making them at home.”

She leased a commercial kitchen and began making her candies to sell in 2000. In 2006, her kitchen closed down and she opened a retail store in downtown Long Beach. Pecan pralines come in many forms and varieties but Christmas says hers are different.

“A lot of pralines are hard and sugary,” said Christmas, “mines are creamy, smooth… melt in your mouth. It’s regular and it’s sugar free.”

Christmas began making sugar free pralines due to many diabetic customers who came into her shop. “We just started the sugar free this year,” said Christmas. “The item that we use, it’s a natural ingredient, and it’s from Louisiana as well.”

This will actually be Christmas’ third Taste of Soul festival and she is looking forward to being a part of it. “This is a way I can let people know that I am here in Southern California,” said Christmas.

Mabel’s Gourmet Pralines in located at 625 Pine Avenue in Long Beach, CA 90802-1331. They’re open Tues-Sat from 12:00pm-6:00pm. For more information, you can contact them at (562) 491-5354.

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