From the dark alchemy of culinary arts, the rich, gooey, and delicious substance that is the caramel was born. Caramel (not to be confused with the desert animal) is a product made by heating a variety of sugar, and today is its day!
Details on why National Caramel Day is observed every April 5 is still unclear, but we thank the genius who justified eating lots of caloric caramel for a day. And we’re not even being sarcastic here. During this day, people put caramel in almost everything.
The sweet confection is made by mixing milk, fat, and sugary syrup heated and continuously stirred until it gets a light brown color. Its English name is derived from the late Latin term calamellus or sugar cane. It was the Arabs who invented caramel in 950 A.D., originally for hair. This led them to build the first sugar refinery in the world.
In the early seventeenth century, American women used caramelized sugar and water to make candies —a rather economical candy to produce. Around the year 1850, someone discovered that adding milk and a fat product to a cooked sugar mixture would result in a soft, chewy candy. This candy immediately became very popular.
Caramel is used to make a variety of desserts either as a featured ingredient, flavoring or topping. Depending on the consistency, it can be utilized as a syrup and glue holding together popcorn and nuts. In a more pliant form, it makes good caramel apples.
Cooked in a higher temperature, the caramel can become brittle and is perfect for just any kind of candy making. However, the longer it cooks, caramel takes on a deeper color and a darker flavor until the sugar becomes bitter and is no longer palatable.
No matter how you want to celebrate Caramel Day, remember to eat the treat in moderation and to spread the joy by sharing with others.
Banner photo is Salted Caramel Flavored Liquid Concentrate, by oooflavors.