Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes

Lancaster CaramelsMilton S. Hershey is one of great entrepreneur stories of the 20th century. Hershey always wanted to be a confectioner. He was apprenticed to a candy maker as a child and then later tried several times to make it on his own. He focused on caramels and small wrapped sweets, peddling them on a cart pushed around the streets. While working in Denver for another confectioner, he learned a new recipe for boiled sweets, a caramel that was extremely stable as well as delicious because of the use of milk in addition to butter. However, even in Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City ... each of these companies failed. In 1886 he returned home, in debt but still convinced that his new caramel recipe he learned in Denver could succeed. He convinced family members to invest once again and this time was the right time. He created the Lancaster Caramel Company which flourished.

He built this little enterprise into a full factory business by the turn of century, employing over 1,300 people and then sold it off for a million dollars in order to fund his new venture, the Hershey Chocolate Company. Hershey’s is finally introducing their own line of caramels, under the nostalgic name of Lancaster.

The new Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes’ package looks nostalgic. What’s inside, though, is unlikely to be anything close to what Milton Hershey used to make in copper kettles. The package says “His [Milton Hershey] original caramel recipe is the inspiration for Lancaster Cremes. The ingredients tell the story of a modern confection:

Sweetened Condensed Milk (Evaporated Milk, Sugar, Water, Lactose), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Sugar, Contains 2% or Less of: Dairy Butter (Milk), Glyceryl Monostearate, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate, Tocopherols, to Maintain Freshness, Sodium Carbonate.

Lancaster Caramels

Though I was a little disappointed to see the use of things like palm kernel oil, tocopherols and high fructose corn sweetener, I was more disappointed at the price for such things. Kraft Caramels are usually about $2 a bag on sale and contain similar ingredients but not the premium price. But, I was willing to give these a try.

The little nuggets are glossy and soft. They don’t smell like much, but have a beautifully soft and chewy bite. The chew and dissolve is impossibly smooth and rich, with good flavor notes of caramelized sugar and butter. It’s like a soft version of Pearson’s Nips. (I could imagine these as fantastic in coffee flavor.) It’s not a completely stiff caramel chew, like a Storck Chocolate Riesen, but much smoother than the soft bite of a Kraft Caramel.

As much as I wanted to hate these for their divergence from Hershey’s original simple ingredients, they are quite good. The texture, the consistency and overall not-too-sweet profile is really ideal. I begrudgingly love them. They come in two other varieties: Vanilla and Caramel and Vanilla and Raspberry. Honestly, I plan to quit while I’m ahead. If they come up with chocolate or coffee flavored ones, I’ll give those a go.

Oddly enough, the Lancaster Caramels are made in Canada, not Central Pennsylvania. Also, they’re not Kosher and there are no other notations on the package regarding nuts, wheat or eggs though the ingredients list dairy and soy as ingredients.

Related Candies

  1. Slo Poke Caramel
  2. Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels
  3. Kraft & Ferrara Pan Caramels
  4. Hershey’s Miniatures
  5. Coffee Nips
  6. Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels
  7. Sugar Mama
  8. Goetze’s Caramel Creams

Name: Lancaster Caramel Soft Cremes
Brand: Hershey’s
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $3.59
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 121
Categories: Candy, Hershey's, Caramel, 8-Tasty, Canada, Target

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:08 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHershey'sCaramel8-TastyCanadaTarget

  1. Where are these candies made ?

    Comment by Gregg B on 3/18/14 at 12:21 pm #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Gregg B. - The package says Canada, but does not specify their factory. However, Hershey’s owns several facilities, including their newest purchase, Brookside.

    Comment by Cybele on 3/18/14 at 12:23 pm #
  3. Does Hershey have a facility in China? If so could it (Lancaster) be made there?

    Comment by Gregg B on 3/18/14 at 2:41 pm #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Gregg - Yes, Hershey’s makes candy in China.

    I’m not sure what you’re asking. Could it? Sure, they can make them in China for the Chinese marketplace. Generally, Hershey’s makes their American confections in North America, either in the US, Canada or Mexico. I don’t foresee Hershey’s making their candy in China and importing it to the US ... but never say never.

    Comment by Cybele on 3/18/14 at 3:05 pm #
  5. I tried the version that was swirled with a cream component.  Greatly disappointed; they were blah.  On your recommendation, I’ll try the regular.

    Comment by theatrenut on 4/06/14 at 6:23 am #
  6. The best candy I have ever tried in the US!

    Comment by Maty on 5/14/14 at 6:07 am #
  7. I’ve tried the Vanilla and Raspberry before, and it was delicious.

    Comment by H on 5/14/14 at 12:42 pm #
  8. Yes Cybele, I think you know what I’m asking! I think your candy is made in China! With lead paint! Gregg B

    Comment by Gregg B on 5/18/14 at 4:06 pm #
  9. I was looking forward to these, but was didn’t find them very special.

    One of the best caramels I’ve tried is L. Frances Caramels.  They’re a little expensive (3 for $1), but they use better ingredients.  You might find a display of them at the checkout of CVS or Walgreen’s pharmacies. 

    Well worth searching out.

    Comment by steve on 6/03/14 at 6:25 pm #
  10. I was really disappointed by the Lancaster Caramels. First the price was excessive, and they were not any better than any other commercially produced caramel. I much prefer the Werther’s soft caramels, See’s caramels, and the chocolate covered caramels from Trader Joes! For the price they charge they can afford to use a lot more than 2% butter. What about just Sugar, Butter, and cream! Love the blog. mg

    Comment by Michael G on 6/14/14 at 5:11 pm #
  11. I don’t expect these will be around in 125 years. We did not like the taste at all. I offered a few to my mother. She tried one, raspberry I think, and complained that she could not get rid of the after taste and gave the others back to me. The soft texture is nice but that is the only good thing that I can say about either the vanilla (with little true vanilla taste) or the raspberry creme. Sorry I wasted my money.

    Comment by PamelaS on 7/03/14 at 7:14 am #
  12. More than the pricey Caramel Soft Cremes themselves, I’m intrigued with the bouncy little 1930s jazz number playing in the background of the Lancaster TV commercial… What IS that tune?

    Comment by Charles Miller on 7/06/14 at 10:00 am #
  13. The song is ‘Racine’ by Noir York

    Don’t know what songs are sampled, but might be something by Django Reinhardt

    You also might enjoy this mix—

    Or perhaps this song using the Optigan—

    The elements of the above tune were also used in a Chrysler commercial—

    Comment by steve on 7/06/14 at 10:48 am #
  14. Here are some alternate mixes—

    ‘Swing That Thing’ (12” House Mix) by DJ Luciano

    ‘The Go Getta’ by Mr. Kazzmatic

    Maybe someone knows the original sample.

    Comment by steve on 7/06/14 at 11:00 am #
  15. Yummy!
    I don’t remember what bag count I am on now since my first purchase of these yummy, soft, chewy creations. 
    The cashier @ the Grocery Store remarked how good they were!
    They are!
    I like to eat them alternating with a bite of a good apple.
    I have not tried the other flavors, the perfectly sweet, slightly salty Soft Creme Caramels are my favorites.

    8 oz. of delicious Caramels to a bag…perfect for that Caramel craving.

    Comment by CallieCandee on 12/16/14 at 4:55 am #
  16. I see they use High Fructose Corn Syrup, which I do try to avoid.
    I will be backing off of these for that reason.
    I am goin to look for

    No High Fructose in my future Caramels.

    For some very good reason I am sure…I missed that.
    Several, to some bags later here I am.



    Comment by CallieCandee on 12/16/14 at 10:07 am #
  17. How can I order some of these?

    Comment by Ruth Anderson on 6/18/15 at 5:43 pm #
  18. Your local WalMart should carry these or other grocery store Chain.


    Comment by CallieCandee on 6/19/15 at 10:59 pm #
  19. Absolutely delicious

    Comment by Anne Wilson on 9/04/15 at 2:06 pm #
  20. I have seen these in stores for over a year and have been tempted to try them. Wow, Milton Hershey recipe Caramel! The Caramel that started him in making candy.

    Then looking at the bag I did notice the phrase, Inspired from his original recipe. That right there shot down my hopes.

    Well today I went in the store, saw them and said what the heck.

    Good caramel. the more you eat, the more you enjoy. But really nothing special about them. The first few I ate were okay, then I hate some chocolate and a few minutes later ate a few more and to me the flavor of the caramel was better after I ate chocolate. I did not have any chocolate or flavor in my mouth, but I seemed to like them better.

    I will eat the bag but after that, don’t think I will anymore. I think I like the hershey caramel in the hershey chocolate covered caramels better than these. Out of 1 to 10, I give them a 6.5.

    Comment by Jeff Talbert on 1/31/16 at 3:28 pm #
  21. Well, I broke down and purchased a bag of high fructose, had an unpleasant after burn. It actually activated my acid reflux. I now know that they are made in Brookside in China. The candies had that fortune cookie type paper around the pieces!
    Milton Hershey would have used pure cane sugar and not ethanol!

    Comment by Gregg B. on 1/31/16 at 4:08 pm #
  22. do you have Goetz raspberry caramel cremes? I want some!!!

    Comment by rusty whetstone on 8/23/16 at 6:28 pm #
  23. Gregg B. - I think you’re confusing Hershey Lancaster milk candies (the popular Chinese version of this U.S. candy) with White Rabbit milk candies. White Rabbit are the candies with the rice paper and they were indeed recalled in 2008 for Melamine contamination. But using alcohol sugars in candies is incomparable to using melamine contaminated milk.
    It’s also worth noting that Hershey China uses imported milk in their Lancaster candies so they are much less likely to be affected by the milk contamination issues in China.

    Comment by Me on 2/16/17 at 10:39 pm #
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