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Welcome to Fancy Food & Culinary Products' blog, your place to read reviews of the great fancy and gourmet products we find in the marketplace.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Editor's Choice: Béquet Gourmet Caramel

I have eaten a lot of caramel in my time, from the mass-market brands like Brachs to the upscale finest-ingredients-only varieties we feature in Fancy, as well as the only slightly burnt batch that I attempted to make last Christmas. In such a large category, there are certain characteristics one must look for to determine a truly outstanding caramel from the rest. Flavor, texture, stickiness and innovation are all key elements of what makes a quality caramel. One company that I found so far to have excelled in all of those areas is Béquet Gourmet Caramel.

Robin Béquet, founder of Béquet Gourmet Caramels, always enjoyed gourmet confections, but she didn't want to venture into the confectionery business herself unless she was sure she could make the best caramel available anywhere. The product of that mindset resulted in an array of caramels flavored with natural ingredients and made in small batches to ensure freshness. The caramels are just the right combination of soft and chewy, and most importantly, I've never been nervous about losing a filling! The caramels come in traditional varieties like Soft and Chewy vanilla butter caramels, but Béquet has also mastered the art of infusing just the right amount of flavor to create flavors like Chipotle, Chocolate, Espresso, Maple, Black Licorice and the newest, Pomegranate. She's covered the confectionery-and-sea salt trend with the customer-requested Celtic Sea Salt butter caramel and the surprisingly addictive Salt-Chocolate butter caramel.

Needless to say, her treats have gotten plenty of attention in the gourmet world, in the form of a Sofi gold for her Chipotle butter caramel and two silvers for her Soft vanilla butter caramel and the Celtic Sea Salt butter caramel. But Béquet doesn't take the credit for herself. "We are very fortunate that we have a great team of people -- our products are made by a team of people who really care about what they're doing," she says. "They care a great deal about the quality of the product, and there's no substitute for that."

For more information about Béquet Gourmet Caramels, visit