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Yummy caramels

Dscn0884When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to eat were those little cubes of caramel. They were so sticky it was hard to unwrap them and so impossibly sweet that the flavor seemed to linger for days. My tastes have changed, but I still love caramels. These days, my favorites are the ones from Béquet, a company in Boseman, Mont. They were recommended to me by Darrell Corti, the legendary Sacramento specialty foods grocer. When we went out to lunch recently, he stuck a handful in his pocket to take along for dessert.

And, of course, Darrell was right — as he almost always is. The dominant flavor of these caramels is not simply sweet, but that distinctive mixture of sweet and rich and just a little bitter from the caramelized sugar. They’re not at all sticky, but have a pleasantly chewy texture that gradually melts in your mouth.

According to their website, the company is run by Robin Béquet, who turned to caramels after the technology crash of 2001. They come in six flavors. I have tasted three of them and would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. How can you go wrong with the Celtic sea salt? The maple has a wonderful perfume of syrup. And the chipotle has a surprising chile finish.

Béquet’s caramels are available locally at many Whole Foods stores. With this kind of candy, freshness is important, so you might ask how long they’ve been stocked. To be certain, you can order from the company’s website, or call Corti Bros. in Sacramento.

Béquet’s caramels, $6.95 for 4 ounces, plus shipping; from Whole Foods, the company website, or call Corti Bros. at (800) 509-3663.

-- Russ Parsons

Photo by Russ Parsons

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yummy caramels indeed :-) caramels with maple interesting, I may try for my husband from Quebec :-)

I loved Kraft caramels as a child; my brother and I would fight over the few fudge caramels that were included in the package. Unfortunately, Kraft later dropped the fudge candies, and they're very hard to find these days. A couple of times when visiting Manhattan I found candy stores selling fudge caramels and loaded up on 5 or 6 pounds of them to take home!

My favorite memory about the cube-celophane-wrapped caramels is when I worked in Houston, a coworker had a package of them on the kitchen table one night. When he got up in the morning, all he had was a package of clear celophane cubes - the ants had carried away all of the caramel overnight, and left the wrappers pretty much intact with all the filling gone. It was truly amazing!

A couple of caramels have always made me happy and satisfied, even if they were the inexpensive ones that are sold in the bulk bags for dipping apples in. But when a friend gifted me a box of gourmet caramels from V Chocolates this past Christmas, I was introduced to a whole new world of caramels. These we just amazingly buttery,soft, chewy and melt in your mouth delicious, just like you described with Béquet’s caramels. I know the V caramels cost a pretty penny and will might break my budget, but these Béquet’s caramels fit my budget better and I'm sure they are just as delicious as V's. I'll try them out. Thanks!


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