Caramel Clarification


03 Feb Caramel Clarification


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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No Comments
  • 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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