Caramel Clarification

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03 Feb Caramel Clarification

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My astute friend Jodi DeLong pays far too much attention to detail. Not only is she an avid gardener, crack photographer and professional writer, she has a memory like a Venus Fly Trap. To my chagrin, Jodi remembers something I posted back in July, 2006.

In the comments section yesterday, Jodi reminded me of my previous anti-caramel rant, hinting that perhaps she’d caught me contradicting myself. You see, in a post entitled The Great Caramel Assault, I lamented the food industry’s over-the-top love affair with burnt sugar.

Allow me to clarify. While I have nothing against caramel, I have a whole lot against imposing it upon foods where it doesn’t enhance the final product. It suffocates the delicate hazelnut undertones of a Kit Kat, weighs down Aero’s only real selling point — the bubbles — and can make an already sweetened coffee cloying.

So, in the summer of 2006, surrounded by double-caramel this and caramel-coated that, I hit my caramel limit and the keyboard.

By winter of 2009, I’d calmed down enough to make caramel corn again.

While I might have softened my position somewhat on dumping caramel on food, I still stand by my insistence this gooey substance have all three syllables pronounced properly. All together now — CARE-a-mel!!

So, what over-done flavours would you like to see banned from the grocery store shelves? Alternatively, English Lit majors may choose to argue the finer points of culinary mispronunciations.

Photos © sara.atkins. Published under a Creative Commons License.

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  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 11:03h, 03 February Reply

    I love caramel so it can stay. As long as it is true caramel that is. I’m sick to death of fake flavours – especially butterscotch!

  • jodi (bloomingwriter)
    Posted at 11:38h, 03 February Reply

    Gosh, I didn’t realize it had been THAT long ago! See what an impression you make when you rant a bit?Happily, we’ve heard no reports of anyone deepfrying caramel. Yet.
    Flavours that need banning? Artificial vanilla from all kinds of things. I love vanilla but I don’t need it in my cereal, my tea, my cats’ food (that latter is hopefully an exaggeration.) There’s still too much mint flavoured everything around for my liking. (And I love mint, too).Fake maple because maple is awesome and fake is not.

    Nothing else springs to mind immediately because I avoid flavoured coffee, those artificial ‘creamers’ used in said coffee, and anything else that has additives. I suspect green tea and chai-flavoured tea will be the next over-used flavoids (which is my personal neologism for flavours that are void of any real flavouring, merely chemicals).

  • Cheri Sicard
    Posted at 13:19h, 03 February Reply

    I love caramel, but could do without cherry and strawberry flavors. While I love fresh strawberries and cherries, artificially flavored cherries and strawberries are just gross to me.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart
    Posted at 14:30h, 03 February Reply

    I’m with Cheri. Fake fruit flavors are icky.

    Now, one flavor I had hopes for in a recent recipe was pomegranate molasses. Sadly, the tart fruity flavor didn’t carry through as I’d hoped.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 14:51h, 03 February Reply

    It wasn’t very long ago that everything seemed to have chipotle in it. Chipotle this, chipotle that. I even learned how to pronounce the word properly, and it wasn’t easy.

    Don’t think I ever saw chiptole caramels, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it were out there somewhere.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 15:48h, 03 February Reply

    Dana, fake flavours should be banned!!

    Jodi, yes, it’s been THAT long. And they do deep fry caramel, if you count the innards of a deep-fried Mars bar. Ick. I actually like a hint of vanilla in my cereal, but not my tea. And fake maple? It’s a hanging offense.

    Cheri, artificial fruit flavours are the worst with fake banana winning (or losing) hands down.

    Roxanne, pomegranate molasses sounds promising. Too bad it was a disappointment.

    Cheryl, the chipotle craze hit here, too. Andrew mispronounces it on purpose just to bug me. I love chipotle in chili and stew (okay, and brownies) but it’s worked its way into salad dressings and corn chips. Make it stop!!

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