85. Divinity (the candy, not the state of being)

9 Mar

Ever since I wrote about pralines, I can’t stop thinking about that candy’s brother by another mother, divinity.

This was one of the very first things I learned to make, but seeing as I haven’t attempted it in probably a quarter century, I’m likely a little rusty on the topic.

If I recall correctly (and my sister will surely let me know if I do not) making divinity was something we’d do to pass the time between church on Sunday morning and “training union” (AKA church) on Sunday night. Perhaps it turns out better if you make it on the Lord’s day. Also, when it’s not raining.

If you’re wondering how the candy came to be known as divinity, try a piece. If you still can’t tell, well, I just can’t help you.

How to describe divinity…It’s sort of a sweet meringue confection that just melts in your mouth. The ethereal quality is balanced by the pecan half on top. That ideal sweet/savory combination that Southerners invented. Ok, maybe we didn’t invent it, but we’re firm believers. Who else would put salt on watermelon or use soft serve ice cream as a dipping sauce for French fries? Tell me I’m not the only one.

You used to find divinity at Stuckey’s, but I don’t remember if it’s any good. Besides which, from what I hear Stuckey’s are disappearing more quickly than Charlie Sheen’s rational thoughts.

I haven’t encountered divinity or anything like it between here and Los Angeles. Does it even exist above the Mason-Dixon?

I’m sure you could find at least one or two recipes for divinity in any Southern community cookbook you happen to have lying around. But in case you don’t have one, I went to the trouble of googling for you and found Paula Deen’s recipe “Mama’s Divinity.” This will be the one I try next, except I will leave out the pecans in the candy and just put a pecan half on top. (P.S. Can y’all believe there’s a Paula Deen recipe that doesn’t start with a “sticka butter”?)

If you’re not the DIY type and aren’t in the vicinity of a divinity seller, you can always mail order from Savanna Candy. I haven’t tried their version, but it was the best divinity photo on all of the interwebs. Believe me, I looked.

Photo: Divinity by Savanna Candy.

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13 Responses to “85. Divinity (the candy, not the state of being)”

  1. Hippie Cahier March 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    The picture is divine. I haven’t thought about putting salt on watermelon in years – probably not since I learned that other people don’t do that.

    Your analogy to Charlie Sheen’s rational thoughts is delightful.

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

      I haven’t salted a watermelon in years, either. I’m going to have to try it again one of these days…

  2. lisa in alabama March 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    2 things that exist north of the Mason-Dixon line: divinity and dipping french fries in vanilla ice cream. Milkshakes, to be specific. Used to have both as a kid growing up in Canada. Oddly, though, haven’t had either since moving down to Dixie. I’ll have to change that. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Ooh, milkshakes would make a better dip than plain old soft serve. Great idea!

  3. littlecackles March 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I have lived in Louisiana my entire life. I am ashamed to say that I have never, not once, had divinity. 😦

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

      Oh my goodness! You must rectify that situation. Please tell me that you’ve at least had pralines!

  4. ceceliafutch March 10, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    I grew up in Louisiana, but left decades ago–but Louisiana never left me. I love your posts because I know what you’re talkin about every time! And the memories of divinity melting in my mouth~~~divine!

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      Thanks. I love being able to give fellow Southern expats a taste of home, if only virtually.

  5. Tori Nelson March 10, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Yum! A true southern treat 🙂

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      I’m thinking I need to make some really soon!

  6. Debbie March 10, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    My aunt made absolutely the BEST divinity! Every time we’d visit, she’d tuck some in a canister for us — thanks for nudging this fond memory!

    • Kim Holloway March 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Nothing better than leaving a relative’s house with a canister of homemade treats. My aunt, Tommie, made the best fudge ever. Alas, my mom and I were never able to reproduce it.

  7. Karen cronacher March 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Am I the only northerner on here who finds salt on watermelon sacreligious and french fries with soft serve incongruous?

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