Here's why Carmello is the best candy bar
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?
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.
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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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