Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Caramel Previews: Mitchell Sweets & Caramoos

There were quite a few caramels at the Fancy Food Show. Here are two vastly different caramel products.

Hammond Candies makes a product unlike all their other wonderful twisty/swirly hard candies, it’s a caramel covered marshmallow block called Mitchell Sweets. I have no idea why they’re called Mitchell, but hey, I guess if I had a great caramel and marshmallow product, maybe I’d just start calling it Mitch, too.

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The Mitchell Sweet comes in two varieties - plain and chocolate. They’re pretty big, about 2 1/2” long, 1 1/4 inch square and weigh 3/4 of an ounce. They’re a bit messy, but not as messy as you might guess.

The caramel is soft and chewy without being too stiff. The marshmallow, on the other hand, is rather stiff and solid. It still maintains a lightness and bouncy texture which helps it stand up to the caramel.

The chocolate one didn’t smell any different but I have to say I was really pleased with how fudgy it was. The chocolate caramel was even a little salty and set off the otherwise sweet marshmallow really well. This is a real standout candy. I could use a little honey or extra vanilla hit in the marshmallow itself, but Hammond’s has been making these treats for a long time, so who am I to say they need an adjustment?

Notes: you can buy them direct on the Hammond’s Candies website for $17.00 a pound. These are very similar to the Littlejohn Caramel Marshmallows.

I give them a 7 out of 10

If I was looking for a candy that advertised its honey flavor, then Caramoos to the rescue. Caramoos aren’t quite the chewy caramel that we’re used to though they are indeed caramelized sugar. It’s more like a light fudge. They come in two flavors in the Caramel Crumble: Original & Honey and a bunch of others in their Creme Fudge line: Dark Chocolate, Mocha & Vanilla

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They’re cute little square rods, perfect to pop in your mouth whole or do it in two bites.

imageThey smell very buttery and have a very grainy texture. The sweetness is mitigated by a little hit of salt and of course the darker flavors of the caramelized sugars. The Honey one smelled like a sweet hand cream instead of a caramel. The fragrant candy grew on me so much that in the end I preferred it to the Original flavor.

The Creme Fudges are a little different. They don’t have the distinct crystallized structure to them. The Dark Chocolate one reminded me of a very good Tootsie roll. Soft, smoky tasting and a little salty. Mocha was rich and milky tasting with a wonderful flavor of rich espresso. The Vanilla one was also chewy and soft and had a nice milky taste to it but not the buttery flavors so apparent in the Caramel Crumble.

They’re an interesting new look at caramelized sugars.

Notes: Caramoos are made in Poland. There’s no ordering info on their website (I emailed but haven’t heard back) but you can get them on Amazon for $14 for 2.5 pounds ($5.60 a pound). Nicole from Slashfood was equally smitten with Caramoos. Quite a few folks also got samples of them from Amazon last year.

I give them a 7 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:01 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHammond's CandiesCaramelChocolateCoffeeMarshmallow7-Worth ItPolandUnited States

Comments
  1. as a matter of fact, caramoos are VERY popular in Poland, only we don’t call them that. If you’re ever here or in the neighbourhood ask for “kr?wki” (pronounced kroovki) which means ‘cows’. If i’m not mistaken, apart from caramelised sugar and butter they contain milk. Of course they come under many brands, and there are some some differences , notably some are more crumbly and grainy and some more chewy and even flowing.

    Comment by edi on 1/30/07 at 7:18 pm #
  2. Wow, these are right up my alley. I want to buy just one or two, though, not a whole pound. I’ll keep my eyes open.  One of the few things I tried at Vosges (when I was there last summer) was their version of this, which is notably GOOD: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/caramel_marshmallows/caramel_marshmallows/

    Of course, there’s always the See’s Scotchmallow.

    Something about the contrast of textures between the ‘shmallow and caramel is so very pleasing!  And enrobing it in chocolate never hurts anything.

    Comment by Joanna on 1/31/07 at 9:21 am #
  3. Caramoos are popular in Ukraine as well - just like in Poland, they’re named after cows (“Korovka”) and are wrapped in paper in a similar style.  I’m glad to see these in the states!  I tried stocking up on my last trip, but the lack of air-tight wrapping turns them into little rocks if you don’t eat them quickly enough.

    Comment by Jen on 1/31/07 at 12:25 pm #
  4. Oh!  They’re like modjeskas…one of my absolute favorite kinds of candy, and so hard to find, until I realized that the See’s Scotch Kiss is one of the best iterations of the marshmallow/caramel candy (and rather honey-flavored; you’d probably like them!).

    Comment by Lesley on 2/01/07 at 7:01 pm #
  5. Those caramoos sound temptingly delicious - I’ll have to look for kr?wki at the new Polish grocery that opened in our city…  And I’ve been meaning to try one of the “hand crafted” coated marshmallows at a local coffee shop, maybe this will be enough inspiration to get me to try one next time I’m in there.

    Comment by Tricia on 2/08/07 at 8:24 am #
  6. If you want to try authentic polish “Krowkas” or Caramoos try this place: http://www.chocoladka.com/index.php?cPath=80_74
    They have a wide variety of makes.

    Comment by Daniel on 4/29/07 at 6:56 pm #
  7. If anyone in Philly would like to try the Mitchell Sweets, I found them at Capogiro (the gelato place downtown).  They tend to have interesting hard-to-find candy, so it’s a good place to check out every now and then.  They were a dollar each - compared to the $17 bag, which says approx 16 pieces, it’s actually a little cheaper than online. 

    Oh yea… I’m a fan of the Mitchell Sweets even though I’m not a huge marshmallow person.  They’re a fun candy and different from your everyday run-of-the-mill stuff. =]

    Comment by Jenny on 6/09/07 at 6:41 pm #
  8. I’ve been to Hammonds twice. And both times I load up on Mitchell Sweets. I like how the thickness of the caramel, almost chewy, complements the airiness of the marshmellow. I’m not a huge fan of the chocolate ones, however.

    Comment by Krista on 11/20/08 at 12:20 pm #
  9. Caramoo is available at Amazon.com.

    I agree, the honey version is the pick of the bunch.

    Comment by Mike on 1/10/09 at 12:11 am #

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