Carambar (Part I?)

There’s a wonderful restaurant in Cambridge (England) called Le Gros Franck near the city’s train station. Apparently, at night it’s a fine dining establishment. I only went there during the day, when it’s a French cafe that serves a deliciously decadent salmon crepe. Nom nom. They also had a wide selection of Carambars, which are these French taffy/chew type candies. They definitely cost more than 5 cents (what Wikipedia gives as their suggested retail price) at Le Gros Franck, but I forgive them for upselling a bit. With import costs and the weak dollar, some things can’t be helped.

Carambars are long, thin rectangular prisms of a soft and chewy taffy that’s not at all sticky. See above photo for size reference. If you check the Wikipedia page, you can see that Carambars come in a bazillion flavors. And if you can read French, you can check out the Carambar website for another list under la marque Carambar, des gouts pour tout (tastes for all, I think). I bought one of every flavor Le Gros Franck carried, so here’s the quickshot list and mini-reviews:

  • strawberry – surprisingly bright and unartificial
  • raspberry – strong seediness
  • lemon – bright and fake
  • pomme d’amour – caramel apple? like a chewy taffy version of those caramel apple lollipops. Yum!
  • big oouu pomme cassis – blech. seedy raspberryness. I looked it up – it’s blackcurrant and apple

  • pineapple – WHOA! So pineappley; fresh with a tinge of acid. A clear ZOMG!
  • mango – also whoa for it’s genuine flavor, carried through by a slightly bitter bite. It almost tastes stringy, if there’s a way to taste like a texture.
  • diabolo cassis – more blackcurrant? Good, but not really blackcurranty. I get more citrus and fizz
  • peach tea – like peaches with a tea finish rather than like tea with a peach finish.

Overall, Carambars earn an OM from me, with a hearty ZOMG! for the pineapple. I think there are a few more flavors that I bought that I have yet to taste too. If I ever get around to those, you’ll get a Carambar, Part II review.