Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Das French Salted Caramels

Das Foods is a curious little company that carries the two essential products for human life: Salt and Caramels. (I keeeed ... everyone knows that chocolate is also essential.) Aside from the heaps of Hawaiian sea salts in a rainbow of colors you’ll find that the Fleur de Sal Caramels are priced about the same (well, a smidge more expensive, but then again they’re individually wrapped ... try that with salt!).

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The little boxes are deceptively small. But pick one up and it’s a dense, quarter-pounder with caramels. Each caramel is wrapped tightly in wax paper (folded, not twisted, space is at a premium here). As an artisan product they’re hand cut and vary in shape and size but most are about an inch long and a half an inch square. The flavors lean on the classic side with a few surprises.

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These are very soft caramels, smooth, buttery and creamy with a big zap of salt crystals. (I had to re-form the unwrapped one in the picture because it kind of pulled and elongated when I unwrapped it.)

Classic - a smooth and creamy caramel with the lightest touch of honey and lavender.

Chai Latte - a lovely and mild combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom with just a hint of cloves. The creamy buttery flavors blend well with the light spices.

Orange & Honey - these smelled juicy and zesty. The orange was a great addition to a traditional caramel, but the salt here was just too much. I’m not sure if the proportion is different of I just got a batch that had a little too much tipped into it. I didn’t finish these.

Ginger & Pistachio - oh, this was a lovely combo. The green nuttiness of the pistachios went so well with the buttery background of the caramels, and far into the chew the rooty-spicy flavor of the ginger came out (but no burn). Not as salty as the other, just the right hit to make the other flavors noticeable. These were the first to be consumed.

Though Das Foods carries a wide variety of salts, all of these caramels featured Fleur de Sel (Hand Harvested French Sea Salt).

They make two other varieties I didn’t try: Chocolate Walnut and Lemon & Honey. The website says that they source their ingredients locally (except that sea salt) to their Highwood, IL kitchen. My only complaint was how devilishly hard it was to get the waxed wrapper off some of them. It was easier if they were chilled slightly, but then that made them firmer in the mouth. Somewhere in the cool of the morning there was a compromise of a low room temperature that meant I could take the wrapper off but still chew the caramel. (I have to say that as wrappers go, if I end up eating waxed paper it’s not nearly as bad as eating cellophane or, the worst, foil.)

I don’t think these are available in stores, but Das has a webstore.

Name: Das Caramelini: French Salted Caramels
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Das Foods
Place Purchased: samples from Das Foods
Price: $5.99
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: 114
Categories: Caramel, Nuts, Ginger, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:37 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. As much as I adore chocolate, I know what you mean about the essentialism of caramel and salt.  It’s just SO GOOD. 

    The Das caramels sound quite alluring - especially ginger pistachio and orange honey. 

    These are the ones (see link) that recently sent crazy shivers down my spine, the most excellent fleur de sel caramel I’ve tried so far, and I’ve sampled more than a couple-few:

    http://www.xocolatldedavid.com/caramels.html#

    I had a non-enrobed one - which I actually enjoy more than enrobed, for the full experience.

    Check out his other goods - the bacon chocolate is unREAL.  I can’t stop thinking (and talking) about it:
    http://www.xocolatldedavid.com/lab.html

    It’s only available in Portland!  By the way, I have no personal connection or investment in this company,in case this is coming across as a sales pitch.

    Comment by Joana on 4/10/07 at 8:37 am #
  2. Those sound wonderful. I’ve never had salted caramels, though, so I don’t understand the appeal or how they are different from ‘unsalted’ caramels. I really need to get my hands on some…

    Comment by Tricia on 4/10/07 at 6:14 pm #
  3. Those sound excellent.  I am really craving caramel after reading this.

    Comment by g on 4/11/07 at 4:33 am #
  4. I immediately ordered the “Book of Joe Special” which contains an assortment of all the flavors.  They arrived super fast and were every bit as good as you described.  I will be back to Das Foods for more, they were YUMMY!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Lisa D. on 4/15/07 at 12:44 pm #
  5. I just saw these at Whole Foods in the Chicago area.  They looked really good but I passed on them since they were pretty pricey. Maybe I should try them next time I’m there; sounds like it might be worth it.

    Comment by Lisa on 11/07/07 at 7:43 am #
  6. I bought a few boxes of these recently and wanted to offer once update to your review: The problem with the wax paper has been fixed. I’m keeping these in my kitchen (probably 75 degrees) and the wax paper is a snap to remove. No problems whatsoever. Oh, and they’re delicious!

    Comment by Jen on 12/13/07 at 12:07 pm #

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