Cafe Society

Candy Girls: Caramel Candy Extravaganza

Now, I'm a huge fan of caramel candy. Something about the rich, deep sweetness of good cooked sugar is pure candy heaven to me. On a recent trek to Big Lots to find strange and unusual candy, I spotted two filled caramel options that looked intriguing.

Goetze's "Original" Caramel Creams

I have seen these individually wrapped before, but never presented on a tray like this. There are 10 little cream filled caramels all smooshed together, and for only 50 cents, I definitely felt like they were worth trying.

First Reactions: It's a little hard to separate the caramels, and I found many of them losing their shape and almost losing the precious icing-like cream in my efforts to extricate them. I'm fairly certain these are the same cream filled caramels that I've had before and enjoyed, so I'm excited to try one.

Taste: Hmmm. Not as caramel-y as I remembered them. The first taste you get is the cream center, which immediately reminds me of those vanilla icing filled, powdered sugar coated donuts from Dunkin' Donuts that I loved as a kid. Ah, the memories. Once all the sweet icing dissolves, the remaining caramel is, surprisingly, also not unlike those donuts. It has a kind of dough-y taste, like it was mixed with too much flour. It's not a bad flavor, I actually really like it, but it isn't a pure caramel flavor by any means. The more I think about it, the more I think that my donut comparison is very apt.

Conclusions: These are not really what you might expect, and I don't even really think they qualify as caramel, but the flavor is nice and the different textures of the icing and the caramel make them a fun alternative to other caramel candies out there.

Would we finish the tray? I'm pretty sure they'll be gone by dinner time. Would we buy again? If we see them again, there's a good chance we'd get them as an occasional treat. Rating: 4 out of 5

Necco Slap Stix Caramel

I was surprised by how hard these large, 2 ounce wrapped sucker-like caramels felt. I guess that means you really could inflict injury if you slapped someone with this, but I'm a bit more concerned about injury to my teeth and fillings when I try to bite in.

First Reactions: The Slap Stix has a surprising banana aroma when it is first unwrapped. Further investigation reveals that it's because the pretty swirl design is actually banana, vanilla and cherry flavored taffy.

Taste: This is actually surprising soft to bite into, and each bite is pretty evenly proportioned between the caramel and the taffy. These two chewy treats actually go well together, and while I'm not much of a fan of fake banana flavor, the sweetness of the caramel pairs well with the banana and vanilla (I can barely taste the cherry) and it reminds Bananas Foster on a stick. Personally, I'd leave the cherry out altogether (or leave out the banana), but the three colors do make the sucker more visually interesting.

Conclusions: This is a really sweet candy, and you better be having a pretty strong sugar craving if you plan on finishing one of these. Like the Goetze's Caramel Creams, these aren't for the caramel purist, but they have a nice flavor and texture and they are unique and fun.

Would we finish? Definitely. Just maybe let me eat some real food first. Would we buy again? Probably. Again, for 50 cents these are a heck of a fun treat. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

-- Aubrey

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Aubrey Shoe
Contact: Aubrey Shoe