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!