Pecan pie is a pie made primarily of maple syrup or molasses and pecan nuts. It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the recipe. Pecan pie is often served with whipped cream.
Tradition holds that the French invented pecan pie soon after settling in New Orleans, after being introduced to the nut by Native Americans. Attempts to trace the dish's origin, however, have not found any recipes dated earlier than 1897, and well-known cookbooks such as Fannie Farmer and The Joy of Cooking did not include this dessert before 1940.
The makers of Karo syrup popularized the dish and many of its recipes. Karo Syrup's own website contends that the dish was a 1930s "discovery" of a "new use for corn syrup" by a corporate sales executive's wife.
Cultural context 
Pecan pie is often mentioned in American literature (and television) as associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special occasions; for example:
- Tonight was the monthly meeting and potluck dinner of the Lost River Community Association... Frances had brought two covered dishes, one a green-bean casserole, the other a macaroni and cheese, and several desserts. Mildred, who had prepared fried chicken and a pork roast, heard the phone ringing, but ignored it... After another trip to the car for two cakes and three pecan pies, the phone was still ringing.
- —Fannie Flagg, 2004
- Dooley handed them a basket stuffed with fruit, nuts, candy, a tinned ham, and a pecan pie. "Merry Christmas!" he said.
- —Jan Karon, 1996
External links