May 27th, 2009 by Rosa
When Amella Caramels contacted me about trying free samples of their caramels, I almost turned them down. I was out of town relaxing in Myrtle Beach, and it was a week and a half before my graduation day, just shy of two weeks when I was to move everything I owned (including my candy stash) to upstate New York (quite far from home in Texas). I thought I’d never have the time. Thank goodness I changed my mind. These guys were ridiculously good.
Amella Caramels are artisan caramels that come in three flavors, carrot cake, black forest, and passion fruit. Not only do they taste great (we’ll get to that in a bit) but also, they come in ingenious packaging. Each box looks artisinal, as if it’s made with handmade paper. Pop the lid open, and you can see the three caramels inside through a little plastic viewing window.
Carrot Cake: “Taste a medley of fresh carrots, roasted pecans, and cocoa butter with creamy caramel, hand dipped in the finest white chocolate.”
White chocolate? I could’ve sworn the topping tasted like cream cheese frosting. This guy blew me away. The chew was soft and non-sticky. It was like eating a bite of gooey carrot cake that just happened to have a light caramel-y finish. The flavor was quite genuine, and a few bits of pecans were dispersed throughout. The white chocolate overpowered the caramel flavor of the bite – I really only got the caramel-ness when I nibbled it sans white chocolate – but it was still quite good.
Black Forest: “Lose yourself in a blend of real Amarelle cherries, 70% dark chocolate, and Tahitian vanilla with buttery caramel, hand dipped in fine white chocolate and topped with dark chocolate sprinkles.”
This was far more caramel-like in texture than the Carrot Cake. It was soft and chewy with just the right amount of sticky, so that the chew didn’t last too long and so that your fillings are never in danger. The caramel has a deep, dark chocolate flavor that would be great as is – but it gets better! After a few chews, a strong and fruity cherry finish comes through, delighting the palate. The white chocolate top isn’t really noticeable because the caramel is so strongly flavored, and that’s just fine by me.
Passion Fruit (bottom right): “Discover pure bliss from real passion fruit, cocoa butter, and Tahitian vanilla with buttery caramel, hand dipped in the finest milk chocolate.”
This was the most caramel-y of the three. It starts out like a nice, buttery caramel (same texture as that of the Black Forest) before bursting into a sudden bright and vibrant fruity sweetness with citrusy high notes. The chocolate is there, but I didn’t care, as the caramel flavor with the transition to fruity sweetness is the selling point. I think I could eat these all day and never get bored by that sudden switch.
These all get ZOMG!s, though I like the Black Forest and Passion Fruit much better than the Carrot Cake. I tried the Carrot Cake first and gave it a ZOMG!, not realizing that the other two would get even better, and I decided that it wouldn’t be fair to downgrade it.
Sadly, they ain’t cheap – $4.99 per 3-pack, with free shipping on orders of $29.94 or more. You can order online for now. I do hope they wind their way into stores. I can see places like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table keeping these by the register (they’re certainly better than the Mitchell Sweets that Sur La Table already sells), and I’d even enjoy these as dessert in a nice restaurant.