In Our Candy Drawer: McCrea’s Caramels

Kate and Jason McCrea are scientists. And candy makers. An ecologist and a biologist meeting at a research camp in Alaska, Kate and Jason could never have known that they would begin an award-winning line of candies in their home kitchen. But, here they are with an eponymous caramel company that has won prestigious awards for artistry, IMG_1452 (603x1024)packaging and taste, not to mention the coveted Good Food Award — an honor reserved for outstanding American food producers.

The story of McCrea’s Caramels begins in 2009. While planning his next move after a layoff, Jason began making caramels, sharing them with friends and selling them at their kid’s school during the holidays. The caramels were a big hit, and left everybody clamoring for more. Jason realized he may have already found his new career. Soon, Kate joined her husband in making the caramels. Their knowledge of chemistry gave them a head start in understanding how to achieve the perfect rich flavor balance with a smooth texture.

Now a 6-year-old Boston candy maker, McCrea’s produces lush, hand-crafted caramels in a range of flavors. The 14 contemporary flavor combinations are produced in small batches using quality, all-natural ingredients. McCrea’s is committed to using only real food ingredients, so there are no artificial preservatives or flavors. There isn’t any corn syrup, either. No corn syrup means no sticky teeth!

We mentioned the 14 flavors of caramel, right? There are 10 year-round flavors and 4 seasonal flavors. We were fortunate enough to sample each of the 10 year-round flavors: Black Lava Sea Salt; Cafe Noir; Cape Cod Sea Salt; Classic Vanilla; Dark Roasted Mocha; Deep Chocolate; Ginger Fusion; Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt; Single Malt Scotch; and Tapped Maple. There really is something for every caramel lover. There are even flavors for people who think they don’t like caramel.

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The bestseller is the Black Lava Sea Salt — a rich, creamy caramel with crystals of Hawaiian black sea salt. We can see why it is a favorite flavor. We thought it was delicious and exciting, but, since our tastes tend to lean toward the more expected classics, we have two favorites of our own.

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First, the Classic Vanilla. Straightforward, for the purist. These treats have a generous amount of vanilla and they are melt-in-your-mouth fabulous. Although there isn’t any unexpected flavor, the warm and fresh flavor you do get is, actually, unexpected in these days of modern candy making.

Our other favorite is the Cafe Noir. It’s just what you’d think it should be: sugar, cream, and freshly ground coffee beans. There is a grown-up richness that really comes through with this caramel.

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McCrea’s product packaging is beautiful and simple — just like the caramels. Designed for gifting and sharing, the caramels come in elegant pillow boxes, tubes, and party boxes. It’s no wonder McCrea’s Caramels have landed on InStyle and Forbes ultimate foodie gift guides.

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To purchase or find a retail location near you, visit the official McCrea’s Candies website.

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