Monday, March 30, 2009

Bequet Gourmet Caramels

There are some candies I simply eat. Which means that I don’t review them here. This is what I’ve been doing for the past three years or so, eating Bequet Gourmet Caramels without so much as a mention here on Candy Blog. I usually pick them up at a gourmet shop singly but I’ve been given a few by friends and had some samples from trade shows. When Bequet sent me this sample package a few weeks ago, I took it as the signal that I finally needed to photograph & review them.

Bequet Caramels

Bequet are classically made from all natural, fresh ingredients in Montana. They’ve stuck, for the most part, to the tried and true flavors of caramels and package them simply in clear cellophane wrappers. The pieces are about an inch and a quarter long.

Bequet Classic CaramelChewy (caramel tan) - they smell sweet and buttery. The chew is soft, easy to bite (as shown). The pieces can be eaten whole or bitten in half. I found a full one just slightly more than what I wanted at once. The flavor is dark and rich, as they use brown sugar as their base instead of white sugar. There’s no hint of grain to it at all.

Soft (caramel tan) - I can see the appeal of a soft caramel, but Bequet are already soft. This one was a little too soft for my tastes, I like a bit of a chew to mine. The flavor was very good though.

Celtic Sea Salt  (caramel brown) - soft with a strong buttery scent. The salt is present in the form of small crystals that give the candy a bit of a crunch. I found the salt overpowering and far too strong. The caramel seemed a bit softer than the others (except the soft one).

Espresso  (medium brown) - smooth chew, sweet and milky with a slight hint of coffee, which really just makes it less sweet than the others.

Maple  (dark brown) - buttery and sweet with a definite maple flavor. A little softer but extremely smooth. I had to eat this one first, as it was infecting the whole bag with its scent.

Chipotle (caramel tan with flecks) - the smoked pepper flavors emerge slowly. At first it’s just a slight pepper burn, then the smoke emerges ... then the burn gets stronger. I think a more toasted sugar flavor would go better with the charcoal-like chipotle. As a hot pepper confection, it was spicy and flavorful without being painful for me. (I am a wuss when it comes to hot peppers.)

Chocolate  (dark brown) - this one has a mellow cocoa scent to it, a little like brownies. The flavor is rather complex for a chocolate caramel, a little coconut, some hot cocoa flavors and the buttery smooth chew. I was surprised with this one, it’s definitely richer than I would have thought and not at all like the empty flavor of a Tootsie Roll.

Salt Chocolate  (dark brown) - like the Celtic Sea Salt one, this had the little flecks of salt in it and like the Chocolate, it had some coconut flavors as well. It was too salty for me, but I recognize that my tastes are a bit off in that department.

Pomegranate (caramel tan) - I consider pomegranate to be a bit of a novelty flavor and though I like to eat the actual fruit, I realize that beyond a bit of juice now and then, it’s not really a great flavor when compared to something like wild blackberries. This one smelled a bit like raspberries and butter. The flavor has only the slightest bit of tang, a little like yogurt and strawberries with some caramel sauce.

Licorice (caramel brown) - this soft caramel smelled woodsy and fresh, like figs and molasses. The caramel flavors blended well with the light and sweet anise. I enjoyed the fact that these didn’t get the food coloring treatment that so many companies seem to think that licorice products need. This was definitely a star for me.

As far as caramels go, I prefer a slightly stiffer product, but that may be because that’s what I was raised on (see Grandma’s Caramels), and I like the texture of a tough chew. These are soft, pliable and provide an immediate release of flavors.

On the whole, they’re an excellent quality product. Though they’re fresh and artisan, they have a pretty good shelf life of 2-3 months. At about $18.00 a pound, they’re not cheap but they’re also very satisfying so they may last a while. They also have a flexible ordering system so you can get flavor mixes so you can try them all out and later just order the flavors you like in a custom mix.

Bequet Gourmet Caramels are Kosher, no artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives. There’s no statement on the package or their website about any allergens though it doesn’t appear that they make anything with nuts (but could be made in a shared space).

Related Candies

  1. J Morgan Caramels
  2. Cowgirl Chocolates Buckin’ Hot Habanero Caramels
  3. Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels
  4. Das French Salted Caramels
  5. Caramel Previews: Mitchell Sweets & Caramoos
  6. Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels
  7. Fran’s Gray Salt Caramels
Name: Bequet Gourmet Caramels
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Bequet Confections
Place Purchased: samples from Bequet
Price: $17.95 per pound
Size: varies
Calories per ounce: 120
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, United States, Kosher, All Natural

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:29 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. The salt caramels are my favorite of any I’ve tried. I LOVE Biting into the whole salt crystals.

    I used to be able to get them a lot around here but they stopped selling them at the one grocery store, but since then they’re harder to get.

    Comment by Jennalee Stevens on 3/30/09 at 3:51 pm #
  2. Cybele, which flavour do you normally eat?

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 3/30/09 at 6:54 pm #
  3. bettyfelon's avatar

    Those look like they would get stuck in between my teeth

    Comment by bettyfelon on 3/31/09 at 6:00 am #
  4. I have never seen such a diverse flavour range of caramels! The Chipotle flavour sounds intriguing! As does the Celtic Sea Salt! Great Read thanks Cybele!

    Jim

    Comment by Jim on 3/31/09 at 9:27 am #
  5. Oh my goodness I love those. I first tried them a couple of years ago in a gourmet chocolate store in Portland, Oregon called Cacao (cacao.com). They have the salty (green packages), and the orange packaged ones which I only tried a couple of times. I loved them so much I bought a pack of 24 to bring home to my friends. Good to know there are more flavors out there.

    Comment by Carly H. on 3/31/09 at 6:58 pm #
  6. Whoops it’s actually http://www.cacaodrinkchocolate.com/

    Comment by Carly H. on 3/31/09 at 7:00 pm #
  7. These are the best caramels! The closest place we can get them is an hour and half away and they only have two or three kinds. We are going to order from their web site! The Celtic Sea Salt are very good. My daughter loved the pomegranate.

    Comment by Marilyn on 4/01/09 at 12:03 pm #
  8. I tried one of these for the first time a couple weeks ago and fell in love with the Salt Chocolate. I bought two pieces; one for me and one for someone else. But I liked it so much, I ate the second one, as well. wink

    I was kicking myself for not buying more, but I didn’t see the name, I was just drawn by the look of them. I came here looking for info on them and I was surprised to not find anything. Seeing this today was a nice surprise and I look forward to trying more of them. I’m just having a hard time finding anyplace that sells them around here.

    Comment by Maura on 4/07/09 at 9:24 am #
  9. I also came here looking for more info on these caramels.  I normally hate caramels but these are so delicious, especially the Salt Chocolate and Celtic Sea Salt varieties.  Oddly enough, the one you seemed to rate high the Licoric is the one my family won’t eat!  Thanks for the interesting review and we will be definitely buying these again.

    Comment by kaneko on 5/24/09 at 7:20 pm #

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