Finds 03.19.2008

The same Louisiana pecan that showcases pies or turns up as the crunch encrusting a red snapper may become your favorite cooking oil. Winnsboro is home to Kinloch Plantation, which presses 100 percent natural Pecan Oil. Lower in saturated fat than olive oil, and with a higher smoke point, pecan oil has a light nutty flavor that is great for salads or sautéing. Because it contains no preservatives, keep the pecan oil in the fridge after opening it to retain its freshness. An 8.45-ounce bottle goes for $10.95 at Champagnes in the Oil Center, or order online from — Mary Tutwiler
With his droopy socks, Converse Low Tops and no-look passes, Pete Maravich was the original “showtime” basketball player, a 1970s icon that inspired a generation of players to take the sport to new heights. One of the fortunate few with a front row seat was journalism student Danny Brown, a friend of Maravich’s during his college days at LSU. Brown took hundreds of courtside photographs of “Pistol” Pete, a selection of which are featured in the new book, Shooting the Pistol (LSU Press). The book features 88 of Brown’s photographs — most never before published — as well as statistics and some personal recollections about Maravich. Shooting the Pistol retails for $23 and is available at Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million. — Nathan Stubbs

Cocoa butter is the secret behind the best chocolate in the world, and Neuchatel Chocolates show off their potent Swiss pedigree. The high proportion of cocoa butter blended into milled cocoa beans produces a seductive silky texture. Add sugar and a hint of flavor and you’ve got beautifully balanced confections. Master Swiss Chocolatier Albert Lauber, a fifth generation candy maker, brought his expertise to the United States, opening Neuchatel Chocolates in the hills of Pennsylvania. Steve’s Interiors in the Oil Center was the sole outlet in Lafayette for the recherche chocolates. When the shop closed, he passed on the torch to Jackie John at Tenzie & Co. Customers followed the truffled road to her glass showcase, where you can buy the exquisite chocolates individually, for $1.20, or up to a pound for $40. For more information call Tenzie & Co. at 291-9077. — MT