Here's why Carmello is the best candy bar

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It's never made sense to me why nobody loves Caramello as much as I do. Caramel is a fantastic thing, no one disputes the merits of chocolate, and one plus the other equals Caramello. It marries a golden, gooey heart of velvety salted caramel with a soft shell of milk chocolate. Never mind the way Caramello's seemingly molten caramel oozes in heavy drips at first bite, or how it can be sucked out from a small hole by a practiced aficionado, leaving only a chocolatey husk. And yet Caramello is always overshadowed by buzzier chocolate-and-caramel treats like Twix and Milky Way. Why do people ignore something so plainly wonderful?

Courtesy of brand
Courtesy of brand

The bar first entered my orbit in the late 80s and early 90s. Caramello was my mother's favorite candy and belonged to the select group of foodstuffs that she refused to share with us children, along with After Eights and caffeine-free Diet Cokes. In an odd moment of generosity when I was in grade school, she once tossed me a nibble—a mere quarter of a single one of its four segments. I've been hooked ever since.

Do you know your state's favorite candy? Click through to find out!

52 PHOTOS
Most popular Halloween candy in each state
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Most popular Halloween candy in each state

Alabama: Airheads

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Alaska: Snickers

Photo: Shutterstock

Source: Influenster

Arizona: Toblerone

Photo: Ben Gabbe via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Arkansas: Skittles

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

California: Lifesavers

Photo: Tim Boyle via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Colorado: Milky Way

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Connecticut: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Delaware: 3 Musketeers

Photo: Myra Iqbal, AOL

Source: Influenster

Florida: Nestlé Crunch Bar

Photo: AP

Source: Influenster

Georgia: Pixy Stix

Photo: Jennifer Smith via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Hawaii: 100 Grand Bar

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Idaho: Butterfinger

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Source: Influenster

Illinois: Snickers

Photo: Shutterstock

Source: Influenster

Indiana: Reese's Pieces

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Iowa: Twix

Photo: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Kansas: Twizzlers

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Kentucky: Whoppers

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Louisiana: Swedish Fish

Photo: FoodPhotography Eising via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Maine: Starburst

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Maryland: Almond Joy

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

MassachusettsStarburst

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Michigan: M&M's

Photo: elevenmoments via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Minnesota: 100 Grand Bar

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Mississippi: Hershey's Kisses

Photo: Steven Mark Needham via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Missouri: Hershey's Kisses

Photo: Steven Mark Needham via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Montana: Kit Kat Bar

Photo: Newscast via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Nebraska: Skittles

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Nevada: Jolly Ranchers

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

New Hampshire: Tootsie Rolls

Photo: Victor Spinelli via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

New Jersey: Sour Patch Kids

Photo: Mat Hayward via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

New Mexico: 3 Musketeers

Photo: Myra Iqbal, AOL

Source: Influenster

New York: Sweet Tarts

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

North Carolina: Butterfinger

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Source: Influenster

North Dakota: Sour Patch Kids

Photo: Mat Hayward via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Ohio: Milky Way

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Oklahoma: M&M's

Photo: elevenmoments via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Oregon: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Pennsylvania : Swedish Fish

Photo: FoodPhotography Eising via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Rhode Island: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

South Carolina: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

South Dakota: Laffy Taffy

Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Tennessee: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Texas: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Utah: Nerds

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Vermont: Almond Joy

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Virginia: Reese's Pieces

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Washington: AirHeads

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

West Virginia: Oreos

Photo: bhofack2 via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Wisconsin: Laffy Taffy

Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Wyoming: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

District of Columbia: Twix

Photo: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

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I'm now old enough to buy my own Caramello, but things aren't exactly the same. The wrapper, once a shiny red, orange, and gold, is now purple and yellow. Over the years the recipe has changed to include an emulsifying filler, which reduces the amount of cocoa butter required, and in my opinion dulls the milk chocolate flavor. The new bar doesn't have the rich, creamy punch of childhood memory, and eating one tends to conjure thoughts like, "You can't go home again."

But chocolate and caramel is still chocolate and caramel, and I continue to instinctively reach for Caramello—at Halloween or otherwise—when I come across it at a supermarket checkout counter. (Caramello is available nationwide, but these days it's more likely to be hidden under a forgotten bag of Mike and Ikes in the back of the candy aisle.) I still eat them slowly, one segment at a time, first draining the caramel and then consuming the chocolate with as few chews as possible, allowing the chocolate to melt slowly on my tongue instead.

And, of course, like my mother, I never share.

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