Monthly Archives: June 2013

Stop messing with my caramels

I recently celebrated a birthday that is nearly a Very Important Birthday, and, pursuant to the Older American Behavior Act (OABA) of 1953, Section 17.3c, I am required to – and I quote – “Create and disseminate at least two rants of medium length, or five rants of short length, per calendar year, or be subject to statuatory penalties”. I therefore present the following:

When I was a kid, there were two kinds of caramels. There were Kraft Caramels:

and there were Brach’s caramels:

I’m a Kraft man myself, though I do have fond memories of picking the Brach’s caramels out of my grandparent’s candy dish.

There was actually a third kind of caramels – the generic ones that your mom sometimes bought. They were the Shasta Cola of caramels; certainly better than no caramels at all, but not something you would really want to admit.

By the way, the proper pronunciation is “Car Mels”. None of that uppity “Care-a-mels” for us.

The decades came and went, and caramels stayed the same. Then one day, somebody decided to dip them in chocolate:

This was roundly applauded as a good idea, and in my mind, is especially successful with a nice dark chocolate cover.

Then one day, when somebody was dipping some caramels in chocolate, they accidentally dropped them into an open salt cellar:


Disgusted at themselves, they immediately threw them away and started a new batch.

I kid, of course. Rather than throw them away, they decided that this was an Important New Culinary Trend that everybody had to buy into. And then it went from there. Just now, sitting on the table right next to me, are two different kinds of salted caramels.

At this point, you are probably saying, “Hey, Theo makes some some pretty good chocolate. I wonder what those caramels taste like?”

They taste like salt. Yes, I can tell that they are nice caramels, and that their chocolate was expertly prepared, but those are undertones. The main taste is… salt.

I just don’t get it. I like salt as much as the next guy… strike that… I like salt *way more* than the next guy. I suck on roasted peanuts before I eat them, I really like soy sauce – in fact, I consider most snack foods to primarily be sodium delivery devices, but the only way I can eat the caramels is if I scrape off as much salt as possible, and even then, they taste pretty darn salty.

And then, last night, I come home and find these:

I’ll save you the magnifying glass. The label says, “jonboy absinthe & black salt caramels”.

Stop. Just stop.

The Waltons – and this writer – will thank you.