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Treat to Try: Gourmet Candy by Karen

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Treat to Try: Gourmet Candy by KarenPhotos by Miriam Bowers Abbott.
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There are plenty of purists who’d like to see farmers markets move back to the times when locally-grown produce was king, when people who actually tilled the soil (or, whatever other stuff farmers do) comprised the vast majority of vendors. The purists make some good points on this issue.

Still, from a personal perspective, it’s the confectionary and baked goods scene that’s a big lure. The crafty, carefully made breads and candies have an appeal that’s hard to find in big-box stores. Case in point, the wares offered by a vendor called Gourmet Candy by Karen.

As the name indicates, Karen makes candy. Specifically, pretzels dipped in homemade caramel and covered in chocolate in, according to its social media, 40 flavors.

It’s the homemade caramel element that makes the magic. It’s nothing like commercial caramel, as those big-box brown squares are honestly a candy that is not worth eating. Karen’s caramel however, stands on its own, and does so literally, as you can buy it solo without the pretzel business too. The caramel is uncommonly creamy and soft and truly buttery in both flavor and in texture.

The gourmet pretzels are wrapped in that sublime stuff, then bedecked with even more sugar goodness. First up, toffee crunch, which wears a thick sweater of chocolate and crunchy Heath toffee pieces on top of its caramel. There’s also a Malt Shoppe version that delivers an impactful sprinkling of malt. Beyond that, the paralyzing array of flavors include Coffee Break, Carrot Cake, S’mores and Amaretto, each one neatly labeled and wrapped in crackling, shiny cellophane.

Beyond the pretzel and caramel scene, Gourmet Candy by Karen also offers buckeyes, turtles, chocolate covered oreos, and marshmallow pops. Nary a vegetable in the house, but you gotta have some sweets to balance out all the garden goodness from other vendors.

You can get your candy fix from this confectioner at local events and farmers markets including Worthington Farmers Market and Canal Market District.

For more information, visit Gourmet Candy by Karen’s Facebook page.

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