October 17 – Caramel, Carmel?

Caramel, Carmel?
one is candy, one is in
California

Caramel can be pronounced Carmel.

To tell the truth, I always thought that Carmels were the light brown hard-soft candies from Kraft.

They were wrapped in clear plastic that would often rip and stick to your fingers when you unwrapped them.

It took an entire package of unwrapped carmels to put on the stove to make carmel apples.

The commercials showed a happy Mom and happy kids, happily sticking a small wooden stick into an apple and happily dipping the apple in a vast vat of melted carmel and removing perfectly coated carmel apples.

While my Mom let us make carmel apples every year, we never came close to this pool of carmel.

We would ask if we could use two bags of carmels but the limit was one bag.

We all helped unwrap the candy and the plastic wrappings were everywhere.

Using a double boiler, we would melt the carmels and wait.

And wait.

An wait.

After a couple of hours Mom would say it looked ready and we grabbed our apples.

Into the carmel the apples would go.

Instead of disappearing into a thick ooziness, the apples would go in about half way and hit the bottom of the pan.

My Mom and learned the trick from years of doing this and had taught us to turn the apple sideways and spin the stick so that the apple was coated with carmel.

It wasn’t the dipped apples from the commerical but it worked pretty good.

Mom had a piece of butter wax paper ready and we would plunk the coated apples down on the paper.

The carmel would slowly slide down the sides and create the traditional crown or cap.

Into the fridge and wait for the carmel to harden.

I loved these things.

I never bought on in a store or farmer’s market that came close to how good these were.

I mean, some places actually rolled the apples in nut pieces.

Near sacrilege in my book.

As much as I enjoyed Carmel Apples, I had a major problem eating them.

When I was nine, I chipped a front tooth.

Broke the thing in half actually.

Lucky for me, my Dad was a Dentist and was able to cap the tooth.

But nothing put a capped front tooth to the test like eated a carmel apple.

I don’t remember how many caps I broke off.

It may have been just one.

But I was fearful everytime I had one.

It seems to me that Mom would had me mine out the fridge and say, ‘you be careful of your tooth.”

Yes, later in life, I tried the ‘Caramel Dip” for apples.

Well, just not the same is it?

Just today I saw a restaurant review that stated, ‘Caramel is on the bottom on the bottom of the pudding.”

And I said to myself, ‘what is the difference between Caramel and Carmel.

Turns out that all these years I have been eating Caramel Apples.

No kidding.

Carmel is a town in California made famous by the photos of Ansel Adams.

I knew that.

Either pronunciation, Caramel (/ˈkærəmɛl/ or /ˈkɑːrməl/), can be used so I feel better about that but still.

Caramel Apples looks so pretentious.

Caramel Apples sounds pretentious.

A fruit covered in sticky candy on a stick.

Carmel Apple.

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