Having posted yesterday on Pecan Bars, and referring to Ina Garten's demonstration of her recipe on Food TV, I omitted a pet peeve -- the mispronunciation of the word "pecan."
I grew up in Alabama, and I never heard it pronounced any way but "puh-cahn," with the accent on the second syllable. Occasionally we had to straighten out a Yankee who came to town, obviously one who'd only read the word and never heard it. They tended to say something that sounded strangely like pee-can, offensive in the utmost to our delicate ears, but amusing, perhaps, to four-year-old boys.
Until Paula Deen, who has an accent I find delightfully authentic. I have actually heard her defend her pronunciation, "pee-can," and tell people that she grew up in pee-can country and that's the way it's pronounced! Even Ina Garten believed her!
Well, I'm sorry. I lived in Atlanta for a few years, but have not spent much time in rural Georgia -- but I can testify that in Alabama and Mississippi, also pecahn country, I never heard it said the way she does, by a local. Never. I wouldn't even say it's a controversy. I have no doubt of Paula's authentic roots, and otherwise her Southern accent is impeccable. But I am flabbergasted if it's true that her Mamma and Grandmamma 'nem all pronouced the word that way.
So let me make this recommendation to all who inquire. Puh-cahn is the way to say the word. It's a delicious nut, so let's give it the respect it deserves. It just plain sounds better that way.