From the tidy little logo, to the handwritten label, to the wax paper wrapping to the flavor: sea salt caramel--it was love at first sight between me and Little Flower Candy Company. I was standing in line at Joan's waiting with my friend for her to pay for her lunch. But I wasn't going to buy anything, oh no, I was just along for the ride. But it's really HARD to stand in front of that little area before the cash register at Joan's and not buy anything. Just try it. It's hard.
Candymaker Christine Moore was once a pastry chef at Les Deux Cafes, who decided back in 1999 to stay home and raise her daughter instead. Once at home, she started experimenting with candymaking as a hobby.
The caramels themselves come not only in sea salt, but in lemon and vanilla flavors and when the season is right, pecan. They are rich and buttery. Not so hard that they make your jaw sore and not so soft that you get more stuck on your teeth than you actually swallow. At $14.00 for a 1/2 lb. bag, they are not cheap, but you are paying for quality ingredients and artisan quality care in the making. It's a whole different experience than you're basic Brach's from the grocery bin.
The sea salt is French and comes from the Guerande. Guerande sea salt is a grey sea salt that is harvested using Celtic methods, interestingly enough, mostly by female salt harvesters. This sea salt is rich in minerals and takes its color from the fine clay of the salt flats. Some say it is the best salt in the world. Ms. Moore began making the sea salt caramels after she was reminded of Brittany caramels she ate in Paris. She tested out different sea salts and then once she found the perfect one, she tested out different proportions of salt to caramel until she hit on the balance she liked best.
Ms. Moore's creations also include fluffy coffee, cinnamon and vanilla marhsmallows ($5) and are available in stores around the country, which you can find on the website, or you can now purchase them directly from the website.
|Monday, August 21, 2006|