“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”

If Forest Gump’s mom was talking about Pralines, then she was definitely right. These little treats come in all different variations of flavor and size, making each one of them and the bakery they come from unique. We love pralines here at Travel Freak, so  here’s a roundup of where to get the best pralines to get your nutty fix:

1) Cocoa Designs: San Fransisco, California

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Originally, pralines were whole almonds caramelized in sugar and then the nut was roasted and lightly coated in more sugar. These treats were named after the French soldier and diplomat Cesar duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin. It is said that these were invented by his cook in 1636. The best place to get this type of pralines which are actually rolled in cocoa powder, are from Cocoa Designs.

2) Maison de la Praline: Montargis, France

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What’s special about this place, is the fact that this is where all the magic started! This is the duc’s chef’s praline shop. Carefully selected almonds and hazelnuts from Spain and Italy are roasted before being fried in sugar or dipped in chocolate Weiss, milk, or powdered coconut. These treats come in green dress powder, and are said to take a bath in chocolate to get the extra sweet flavor.

3. Michael Mischer Chocolates: Oakland, California

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Here, these candies are salted caramel ganache, in a chocolate shell.  These types are inspired by Belgian chocolatier, Jean Neuhaus, further influencing other chocolatiers such as Godiva, Nirvana and Leonidas. Delicious. This new usage is attributed to Belgian chocolatier Jean Neuhaus, who in 1912 developed a process using couverture as a hard shell for what he called pralines, which he filled with ganache, creams, nougats, etc. Other Belgian chocolatiers followed suit: Godiva, Leonidas, Neuhaus and Nirvana.

4) Whaley Pecan: Troy, Alabama

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These brown sugar and pecan patties will melt in your mouth. In the south, these treats are flat, round, creamy candy patties with crunchy pecans. They have a fudge-like texture.

5) Southern Candymakers: New Orleans, Louisiana

Southern Candymakers fresh scooped pralines

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These delicacies are famous here in Louisiana. Stop by this shop to take a bite into one of the sweetest pralines you’ll ever taste.

How far would you travel for a praline?

Shane Autumn is currently a senior at The University of Tampa, pursuing a degree in Communication, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in International Studies. When this travel-obsessed, adventure junkie isn't out exploring the world, she can be found feeding her unhealthy addiction to chocolate chip cookies. Shane Autumn is an avid human rights and animal activist, and plans on starting her own non-profit organization someday.

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