Monday, January 28, 2008

J Morgan Caramels

Years ago when I was in college I went to see Twelfth Night at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s a cool outdoor venue and in true Elizabethan style they had concessions (candies) available to eat right there at your seat. I bought a roll of licorice toffee, I believe by Callard & Bowser. I thought I was getting a roll of licorice medallions or a hard candy flavored with licorice or something.

Instead it was a roll of soft caramels ... licorice caramels. I quite liked them. I ate the whole roll. 

I bought them whenever I could find them, which wasn’t very often. And then I never saw them again. Turns out that Callard & Bowser, also known for their Altoids, is now owned by Wrigley’s and many of the traditional candies they used to make are gone.

There are other licorice taffies out there, and those are nice, but don’t have that mix of true cream and dark licorice that I love.

J Morgan's Caramels

Then at the All Candy Expo I noticed that there were a few places that actually had licorice caramels. I was on a quest for the best. I found J. Morgan, already known in Utah for its excellent caramels. (Utah it seems is a hotbed of confection, owing I believe to the LDS prohibition on alcohol & caffeine.)

The glossy caramels wrapped in clear cellophane were quite appealing to behold. (The above tub actually has a mix of all of their products in it, not just the caramels.)

The Licorice Caramel is wonderfully creamy with a light anise touch that leaves a kind of cool effect on the tongue. The texture is exceptionally smooth, the chew is a bit stiff, but gives it up after warming in the mouth. (The short-caramel of the Callard & Bowser was grainy and not nearly as satisfying as these.)

J Morgan's Caramels

The plain Butter Caramel is smooth, not a bit of grain to it and a nice well-toasted sugar flavor.

The other one I tried was a Pecan Caramel. The pecans weren’t big or plentiful but still added a nice buttery crunch and nutty maple flavor to them soft chew.

They make two lines of caramels, the ones profiled here are their Signature Caramels line called Old Fashioned Caramels and come in sealed cello. Their other line which is more affordable in the Heavenly Caramels line called Butter Caramels and are nice but have a slight grain to them, a less chewy chew and come in twisted cello pieces.

The ingredients for the Butter Caramels are: Sweetened Condensed Milk, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Cream, High Fructose Corn Sweetener, Palm Kernel Oil, Butter, Vanillin, Salt & Lecithin. So the majority of the sugar is from the sweetened condensed milk & corn syrup, but it looks like there’s a dash of HFCS. But all that condensed milk gives these 4% of your daily RDA of calcium in just 3 caramels!

They’re all tasty, but the Licorice Caramels are a standout of smooth creamy chew with that lovely woodsy hit of anise/licorice in it. (I do wish they’d sell a mixed tub though, so folks can sample.)

Related Candies

  1. Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels
  2. Russell Stover Organic Pecan Delight
  3. Licorice Mentos
  4. Bassett’s Licorice Allsorts
  5. Green and Black Caramels
Name: Old Fashioned Caramels: Butter, Licorice & Pecan
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: J. Morgan's Confections
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: $12.99
Size: 18 ounces
Calories per ounce: 108
Categories: Licorice, Caramel, Nuts, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:46 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I loved Callard and Bowser as a child in the little boxes that were a little bigger than a cigarette pack, if you’ll excuse the analogy. They did lovely hard caramels (in oblongs, wrapped in foil) and nougat that was just like the Italian kind. Lovely.

    Those licorice caramels sounds great BTW!

    Comment by Lidian on 1/28/08 at 9:00 am #
  2. Speaking of Altoids…can anyone explain to me why I can’t find Altoids or Altoids gum anymore? I only ever see the strips, yuck, or the odd flavored ones. I miss my Altoids.

    Comment by Hmmmmm on 1/28/08 at 10:14 am #
  3. Callard and Bowser…man, I totally forgot about those, and I used to buy them pretty regularly when I was in my late teens/early 20’s).  It wasn’t until I read your post that I realized that I have not, in fact, seen them around for years.  Interesting. 

    Being a non-licorice fan, I opted for the straight up toffees, not the licorice variety. 

    Thanks for the trip down sweet mem’ry lane. 

    I just got back from my neighborhood grocery (local chain) and the in-house bakery is now making their own peanut brittle and “almond roca”, sold in bulk by the pound.  Ted, the “pastry lead”, with whom I have achieved friendly and familar relationship (big surprise), gave me a big hunk of the just-made peanut brittle to sample.  Have I mentioned how much I love my grocery store?

    Comment by joanna miller on 1/28/08 at 1:25 pm #
  4. I’m switching grocery stores.

    I can never bring myself to buy caramels even though I like them so much. It doesn’t seem like something I should spend money on for some reason.

    Comment by Ezra on 1/28/08 at 5:35 pm #
  5. Aw, I haven’t visited for awhile and you mention one of my pet candy peeves, Cybele—decimation of Callard & Bowser! Why did they do that?

    Comment by desertwind on 1/30/08 at 11:09 pm #
  6. THIS J.MORGAN LICORICE CHEWS IS BEYOND BELIEF GOOD !  WE FOUND IT OUT IN THE HILLS OF OREGON AT A TINY STORE AT BRIDGE OREGON .  I RIDE OUT THERE A COUPLE TIMES A MONTH TO BUY JUST A FEW PIECES AND THE RIDE .  LAST TIME I BOUGHT A BOX OF IT !

    Comment by CHRIS MILLER on 9/26/09 at 6:21 am #
  7. You can get licorice caramels at AJ’s Market.  They are made in Ogden, Utah by the Heavenly Caramel Company!  They are to die for!!

    Comment by Glenda DeMoss on 3/30/12 at 1:50 pm #

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