27 October 2010

Hand-crafted caramel treats

Our tour of the 2010 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival has been derailed by Halloween. More to the point, it has been thrown off course by new snacks available in Germany. Karamell-Küche opened with the festival, and added a new sweetshop to the already bulging list of bakeries, confectioneries, and ice-cream parlors.The primary focus of Karamell-Küche, however, is what sets it apart from its saccharine siblings, a dedication to the decadence known as caramel. Opening the doors of the caramel cave, guests are immediately met with a wall of warm sugar that sends the salivary glands into overdrive and tickles the nostrils. The shelves are lined with more Werther’s Original products than I thought existed in the natural world, and not one that I wouldn’t mind sampling myself, but the real draw here is the confectioner’s case.Everything from apples and strawberries, to marshmallows and popcorn have been given a caramel bath in the rich, gooey Werther’s Original caramel. The on-site creation and decoration can be quite the distraction, and well worth a few minutes of spectatorship. Trying to decide between the covered apples, fantastic fudge, blissful brownies and bars, cookies, and cupcakes is a daunting decision. For my first bite of Karamell-Küche, I went the traditional route and purchased one of the hand crafted caramels. While the gourmet caramels can be outfitted with extras, such as pecans, marshmallows, and various forms of chocolate, I chose to stick with the unembellished original in order to give the caramel my undivided attention.I was not disappointed. While the prices at Karamell-Küche may seem a bit steep for a single caramel, the considerable weight and quality of the gourmet caramels makes these sweets a steal. The caramels should not be devoured in two bites, although they could be, as the lush, thick and toasted flavors of the caramel will be washed away by the realization that the mouth has become a gluey, gooey nightmare. The smaller the bite, the more delicious the experience.Karamell-Küche may be new to the Walt Disney World foodie scene, but its traditions and craftsmanship make the establishment feel as if it has been a staple for many years. The caramel delights of this treat factory place it alongside the Main Street Confectionery and Sweet Spells, right where it should be.

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