Ok, so I’m taking a little break from chocolate. Not that I don’t still love it, but in the spirit of fall and Halloween, I want to mention a seasonal favorite of mine: caramel apples.
Now I have been a fan of this delicious mixing of fruit and candy since the first time one was put into my hand in early childhood. I have fond memories of my mom buying caramel apple kids, which were basically large circles of pressed caramel and sticks. She would also buy several apples and we’d come home, lay out the caramel disks, wrap our apples up, stab ’em with sticks and indulge.
I didn’t have to have my caramel apples on sticks either. Once, after going to a church alternaween celebration (basically kids games in our churh parking lot where we still got to dress up in non-scary costumes and win our candy along with religious tracks about the evils of Halloween) and winning a ton of caramels, I got my mom to cut apple slices for me and alternated between taking a bite of caramel and a bite of apple. Not quite as joyous as the one on a stick, but it worked in a pinch.
In my teen years I sort of forgot about my childhood treat. They weren’t around anywhere and I never went out of my way to combine them. I’m actually not sure I had one between the ages of 14-22. It wasn’t until an ex took me to a pumpking patch (something I’d never actually seen during my childhood in Southern California). It was there I rediscovered caramel apples.
My yearly trip to the patch meant not only a great pumpkin to carve and a slider slushy (bees optional), but also at least one piece of caramel heaven.
This year I not only got my regular apple at my usual patch, but had one brought to me by a student from another local patch. Then, since I got so many apples to make cobblers and cakes with, I also grabbed a tub of caramel dip made by Concord Foods.
One thing I’ve never understood about people who make caramel apples is why they would use red delicious or other mealy apples underneath the actual caramel. It ruins the whole taste. All good caramel apples should be made from tart apples. And yet, it always amazes me when I bite into an apple and it’s, well, not even a bit sweet.
So this time, my first apple was pretty good. I was a bit worried when I looked at the bottom of the apple and saw it was red. Red apples often spell trouble in the taste world. However, it did have a hint of sweetness to it that saved it. While not the best apple I’ve ever had, it was pretty tasty. I was, a little disappointed with the amount of caramel that stuck on the plastic wrap, but I fixed that by basically eating the caramel off of it.
The second apple was definitely a tarter apple. The problem with this one is that almost half the caramel came off in the wrapper, which was basically like a cupcake wrapper. Who wraps caramel in paper? That just isn’t going to work. Once again, I found myself gnawing through paper to try to get all of the caramel off. It didn’t work.
The biggest disappointment to me though, was the cut up apple and dip. The dip was great. Good caramel flavor. Nice and creamy. The problem was the apple. Despite being labelled a golden delicious, it had no hint of tartness to it. It didn’t ruin it exactly, but it definitely put a damper on my caramel apple experience. I’m hoping that at least a few of the other apples I have in my bags will be a bit sweeter. If not, I might have to make a trip to the store.
The best part about the dip is that my caramel apple experience gets to continue for at least another week or so. Plus, there’s always next year.