Pizza and caramels. These two will forever be linked in my mind as foods that the cool kids liked in grammar school, but that I didn't necessarily care for. It was the cheese on pizza that bothered me. I didn't like its slippery chewiness. As for caramels, they just seemed too "sporty" to me. (What caramels and sports have in common, I have no idea, but I guess you just think of these things when you're little.) In any case, my opinions have changed with age.
I like pizza now. It's not my favorite food, but give me a good pepperoni pie and I'm happy. Same thing with caramels. I won't take the caramel over the nut cup in the Whitman Sampler, but if you offer me a really good caramel, then I'm all over it. So when I received a package of Sander's caramels, I wondered how they would be. To start with, they're pretty. They're covered in milk chocolate but have dark chocolate stripes across the top. (Forgive my lame picture; my camera just isn't cut out for details.) And then the taste: YUM. The caramel is buttery and complex and its chewy, but not hard. I think that's the key to a good caramel: the texture. If it's too hard, you lose the taste. These have just enough chew to keep your teeth busy, but not so much that you'll break your jaw.
I also got a box of Sander's Mint Patties. There's something so wonderful about the initial aroma you get when you open the box. I can't quite place why it makes me so happy, it just does. Again, texture is key with peppermint patties. Here, the chocolate has a nice snap to it, while the peppermint cream is soft and flowy, unlike a York pattie which is stiff and crumbly. The only problem with these is that they're addictive. You think you'll just have one, but then you find yourself reaching for another. And another.
Sander's is based in Detroit and you can order their candy from their website.