Tribeca's Grandaisy Bakery recently held their first ever "Provisions Party," where they invited a half dozen small and local food companies to show off their products and provide samples to customers in their shop. And unlike a weekend food market, if a customer likes something, they don't have to wait a week to buy more—they can just come back to the bakery at any time because they carry small supplies of these products in their shop.
One of the offerings I enjoyed were the caramels ($7.50) from Real Treat Confections. Real Treat was founded by Catrine Oscarson, former Executive Pastry Chef of Mas Farmhouse and Mas La Grillade. Their caramels are currently available in four varieties: dark chocolate, sea salt vanilla, fresh ginger, and cream city (a coffee-based flavor).
I dove into the dark chocolate first. You know you're eating caramel, but you get a lot of cocoa flavor along with your cooked sugar. It's really like eating a soft, pliable high-end dark chocolate bar. The ginger had a similarly strong flavor. It doesn't bring any heat or acid like the ginger chews you get at some restaurants, but the fresh ginger presence is there in both flavor and aroma. The sea salt vanilla is a buttery, salty treat, each element enhancing the other.
Real Treats appear be using high quality local brands at every possible opportunity with dark chocolate coming from Guittard, heavy cream from Ronnybrook, butter from Vermont Creamery, and sea salt coming from North Fork. They're available at the Tribeca branch of Grandaisy Bakery and online.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.