Why caramel won’t go out of style
Caramel’s many flavors…
There are unlimited caramel flavors, depending on the type of ingredients and cooking methods used. The amount of butter, type of milk and type of sugar can create nuances in flavor with a variety of different tastes, while cooking temperature can affect firmness and thus unlimited different textures and colors. That versatility means you can create unique caramel creations.
… with different faces
The term caramel has different faces in different cultures. Butterscotch is caramel’s ‘earthy cousin’; less complicated in both flavor and preparation. British toffee is cooked to the hard-crack stage. Dulce de leche the ‘milk sweet’ or ‘milk jam’ is popular throughout South America and has a sweet flavor and thick, gooey texture. Cajeta, the Mexican’s version of caramel made with goat’s milk or a combination of goat’s and cow’s milk, gives the earthy and slightly nutty flavor.
The marriage of salty and sweet is one that shouldn’t work, but magically and deliciously does. Consumers can’t get enough of it. Too much sugar is overly intense and too much salt simply tastes terrible, but when you mix the two, the combination is heavenly.
Chefs call this flavor layering, and the right mix – not too sweet and not too salty – gives your brain a positive response. With flavor layering, flavors melt together in your mouth without giving you 1 specific taste leading to sensory-specific satiety. Therefore salty/sweet combinations double the taste sensation and create a pleasurable experience that keeps consumers coming back for more.
Twists and pairings
Caramel makes great pairings with a variety of different inclusions to create multi-sensorial experiences. Especially combinations with healthier inclusions like seeds, nuts and dried fruits are appealing for consumers. All sort of caramel twists including combinations with cocktail-based flavors, rosemary and sea-salt, cocoa nibs, etc. can bring your caramel creations to a next level and create a more premium perception. It also has incredible potential to satisfy various eating occasions and consumer need states like on the rising trend in on-the-go consumer snacking.