Essential Commerce: A Caramel Taste Test

I acknowledged long ago that I’m easily (and sometimes, oddly) amused.  The verbiage on my auto license plate would be an example of that.

Another of those things I’m amused by is a car show on public radio where the brother-hosts-MIT grads use spontaneous irreverence to create laughter.  What Car Talk has to do with this blog post is almost nothing… in fact, it’s only one thing: CT’s “Shameless Commerce”, which never fails to amuse me.  Translated to The Essential Garden’s conversation about caramels, I call it Essential Commerce.

So it is in the thinly veiled guise of double-blind protocol (neither of which is actually true), that I conduct a completely biased comparison of Essential Caramels to a couple of the local, established competitors.  Essential Caramels are traditional, cream-and-sugar caramels, the evolved product of an old family recipe.  Be warned… I may be the only one who finds humor (and pleasure) in this post.

Competitor #1 is a locally made caramel that’s sold at What’s For Dinner? in O’Bryonville.  (I love their eggplant roll-ups, by the way.)  A tidy rectangle, smartly wrapped with a little pressed, stamped seal.

A dense, tooth-resistant texture.  Average caramel flavor, although it leans strongly toward butterscotch.  Minimally sweet and sticky-chewy.  The caramel ‘pulls’, but, the density and a slightly tougher exterior crack when pulling is attempted.

Competitor #2 is made by the Big Gun confectioner in town: Graeter’s.  These caramels are unwrapped, purchased individually or by the pound and wrapped in either milk or dark chocolate coating.  The caramel inside is lighter, less dense and more tender; however, the caramel flavor is harder to discern, particularly when tasted through the chocolate, which predominates.

The Challenger is the Essential Caramel, the recipe for which I tweaked ever-so-slightly as recently as this past week to very positive effect.

Silky, melt-in-the-mouth tender, bright, caramely flavor and voluptuously sweet.  (I said it was shameless.)

The free-trial offer to taste test the Essential Caramel is a standing offer.  You need only shoot me an email, and I’ll send or deliver a small supply for your perusal.  Fear not, out-of-towners, you are not forgotten.  In fact, you’re at the top of the list now that the holidays and client deliveries are complete.

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