All these caramels taste so different I thought I should get a definition of caramel. From Wikipedia:
Caramel (pronounced /ˈkærəmɛl/ or /ˈkɑrməl/) refers to a range of confections that are beige to dark brown in color and derived from the caramelization of sugar. Caramel also refers to a soft, dense, chewy, caramel-flavored candy made by boiling milk, sugar, butter, vanilla essence, water, and glucose or corn syrup.
Yahoo! I'm all about milk, butter, and sugar - YAY! And all of the caramels we'll review here (except for one) are covered in chocolate. YUM!!!
In the last entry I told you how fabulous the caramels from The Chocolate Fetish were. Well, today we're going to look at their sea salt collection:
And because it's easier for me to compare and judge than just describe, we're also going to look at caramels from another Asheville chocolatier, French Broad chocolates:
We'll talk more about their other chocolates in an upcoming entry.
And since all the celebrities (including our new President) keep raving about Fran's chocolates, we'll take a look at them too:
Okay - first off, the diamond shaped thing is not a caramel - it's a hazelnut milk chocolate truffle. And it's very, very good - especially if you like hazelnut.
Okay - on to the caramel.
Let's compare all the dark chocolate sea salts and then the milk chocolate ones.
The winner is The Chocolate Fetish - their caramel is slightly softer than French Broad's and has a richer taste. There is also a better marriage between the chocolate and the caramel in the Fetish caramels. The French Broad chocolates use a local wildflower honey rather than corn syrup - I don't know if this accounts for the difference in taste and texture or not.
The Fetish caramel is so rich and chewy - it's just amazing.
Now what about the famous Fran's? Third place! Too salty - the salt completely overpowered the caramel. Now French Broad's caramels could actually have used a little MORE salt. It was too subtle there. Fetish was just right, Goldilocks.
Now here's the thing - if you only had Fran's you might think it was good. The combination of salt and caramel is a delicious one. But when you compare it to these other two - not so good! And Fran's is the most expensive, thank you very much. In this case, celebrity endorsement is worth more than quality.
Now what about the milk chocolate ones?
Fetish wins again! I just can't tell you all how amazing these caramels are. They have such a rich, deep taste. And look at all the different salts - they use SIX different salts from around the world. This really gives you an amazing taste experience. You would never think salts could taste so differently.
This time Fran's comes in second - I really liked the milk chocolate ones much better. The salt was less overwhelming than on the dark chocolate ones. But it was close, the French Broad caramels had a delicious finish. The chocolate was a bit smoother on the Fran's caramels.
So, when it comes to chocolate covered caramels, The Chocolate Fetish RULES!
All I want to do is get you to try something different. You may decide you'd rather have Kraft caramels any day, and that's great! But choose based on knowledge, not just because those are the caramels you've always eaten. And remember, this blog is about chocolate, but the message is bigger. Don't just do what you've always done or hang out with the same people you've always hung out with. Try new things! Meet new people! Your life is as big and as exciting as YOU make it. Everyday can be an adventure.
Even salt can be exciting!!