We were in Sayulita, Mexico in February. And before you ask, no, we weren’t kidnapped or killed. However, my pop, being the Spanish speaking social dude that he is, stumbled upon a little store off the square called Sayulita Dulces, run by a gringa named Bonnie. He suggested that I try their chile spiced sea salt caramels.
Don’t feel too bad for me, but I had to live in that hellish environment above for a week. Check out the claim on the bag-this is what really got me:
To be clear, I’m a chile freak. I eat sambal and Sri Racha sauce on everything. I put raw jalapeños and Serrano peppers on most things I eat, if for no other reason than to piss off the terrorists-BECAUSE I CAN, DAMN IT! So I was skeptical. But I tried one. And guess what?
Nothingburger. Not only was it not spicy, it was like it personified the absence of spice. It was oppo spice. Not only that, but..it was so amazingly thin and soft…almost dissolving immediately in my mouth, I just…really didn’t like it. I like my caramels chewy and hard, so I can savor them and taste all the nuances. These just felt like soft sugar.
Turns out the owner gave me the wrong bag. Or rather, I bought a mislabeled bag. So, when my pop was ready to come from his (cough cough) 6 week vacation there, he brought back a bag. But he also brought back a bag of dark chocolate covered spicy salty hard caramels.
These…couldn’t be more different than the soft caramels. I couldn’t really SEE any chocolate, but I think I tasted a light sheen. After that, the sea salt jumps in : bright, full, really making the chocolate and caramel taste better. Then…the spice comes in. And while it’s certainly not knocking my sombrero off, it actually had a really nice punch, and even better, really delicious flavor. The best part is that it’s all encased in this hard toffee like brick, akin to a Heath bar. The salt and spice play off each other so well…and then once the salt and spice are sucked away, you’re left with a hard piece of toffee-esque caramel to crunch through. Lots of different layers to this confection, and I like that.
I definitely wouldn’t buy their soft caramels again, but I most definitely WILL buy these hard caramels the next time I’m there. In a candy universe that’s absolutely littered with sea salt caramels, the soft ones don’t stand up to the competition. But as far as the hard ones go – these things are unique as far as I can tell. And I don’t know what kind of chiles she uses, but the combination of them plus the sea salt and chocolate is amazing.
If memory serves, these were about 4 bucks for a bag of 5 or 6 caramels – definitely a good bargain for the hard ones.
Email Bonnie at:
Tell her the gringo sent ya!
Ahhhh Jonny and Matty (below)………….I loved this review for being spicy and sweet.Rather than defend against human error in packaging (for which I was chagrined), we are delighted the Chocolate Caramel Diablos almost knocked your sombrero off. Sea level and hot weather cooking poses its challenges in Mexico and one is constantly being tested to try to adjust according to Mother Nature, but I do want to thank you for the review and promise our learning curve is being straightened.
And Matty, I don’t blame you for being horrified at the unfortunate choice of pictures. I can guarantee that in the 8745 caramels we have personally packaged, this must have resulted either from the transition from Mexico to the US or by one anxious reviewer who dove into the caramel vs. from our (clean) hands.
“When it comes to love, I’d rather fall in chocolate”.
FB Sayulita Dulces
Thanks for the comment Bonnie-
If our readers want to purchase candy from you online, is that possible?
The business started in November of 2011. This summer I’m working on the shipping question as it poses lots of questions. Customers simply must come down to Sayulita and visit the store during the November to May high season, or I can ship limited amounts up with someone for now. Poco a poco as they say in Mexico. We do know they all fly out the door every day and are a huge success.
They look like someone touched them with their hands to rip off a bit and putting it in the wax paper thing. Sounds incredibly clean.
And no thanks