Way back in the 1600s sugared syrups were very popular. Americans loved the taste, texture and versatility of a syrup that they could incorporate many ways in the confections they baked. It wasn’t till the eighteenth century when the sugary syrups consistency changed. When that happened a new treat was born that was sweet, chewy and when heated would be gooey providing more possibilities for its use.
The Lancaster Caramel Company created a beige colored food product that is made from a variety of sugars that are heated and became denser, sweet and chewier than the syrups of prior years. They simply called their creation, caramels.
So it is no wonder that today, April 5 became a special date in the food industry celebrated as a food holiday called “National Caramel Day”!
Caramels are one of the most popular sweets on the market; back then and still is at the top of the list today. A treat many of us associated with these caramels is making caramel covered apples. This is done simply by changing the consistency of the caramel by slowly heating them. Then apples are covered with the caramel, placed on sticks, coated with nuts, coconut or small candies and enjoyed by many especially around Halloween.
These sweets don’t stop there. They are a delicious candy straight out of the package. Others us caramel as a topping over ice cream and popcorn. Many chefs incorporate caramel to flavor desserts, puddings and custard dishes. We also see creamers in the grocery store and at coffee shops where the flavor of caramel is added to coffees giving them a gourmet name and flavor.
Enjoy a chewy caramel today and celebrate “National Caramel Day”!
© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
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