What is the difference between caramel and carmel. We have all heard
of carmel candy, carmel icing, caramel apples and caramel popcorn.
The difference is that carmel is a misspelled word. Carmel is a name of
cities, persons last names but is misused when referring to as caramel.
Neither the encyclopedia nor dictionaries recognize carmel as a correct
spelling or as a term used in cooked syrup or candy.

[kar-e-mel],[kar,mel in some U.S. regions] is a food which
has a color from orange to dark brown and a sweet toasted flavor,
derived from the caramelizing of sugar. Caramel is used to flavor
candy, as well as soft drinks such as Coca-Cola. Caramel can be made
from sugar by heating it slowly to around 340°F, depending on the
sugar being used and the final use. There are many ways to make
caramel, different recipes, added ingredients and cooking methods,
yield different finished products used for different purposes. Various
candies, confections, and desserts are made with caramel; caramel
apples, caramel with nuts, caramel with custard, brittle, soft chewy
candies, icing, caramel sauce, etc. The word caramel also describes a
soft, chewy, caramel-flavored candy made by boiling milk, sugar,
butter, syrup, vanilla, essence, water and glucose gum together. Milk
is the vital ingredient in caramel candies, giving them a creamy,
collapsible texture. Milton Hershey began his chocolate empire not
with chocolate but with caramel. In 1886 he founded the Lancaster
Caramel company, surely utilizing traditional recipes that were found
in many a regional cookbook. He learned about chocolate making
because he sought new coatings for his famous caramels.
By | 2017-07-28T01:56:53+00:00 September 29th, 2014|!! DID YOU KNOW !!, Recipes|13 Comments

About the Author:

I have been in the food business since 1975. This has been my passion and life’s ambition and have enjoyed every day of it. I’ve created this site to share my passion for cooking with those that love to cook and those that would like to learn.


  1. nicole brown September 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    this really helped me with an argument in class and now they understand

  2. Billy October 25, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Thank you for clearing this up! I’m glad I found your web site and will definitely be visiting often!

  3. Jason h Lancaster March 28, 2017 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Just to annoy my brother I’m still going to call it carmel. He just gets oddly perturbed by it.

    • Chef Dave March 28, 2017 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      Keep on annoying! A little sibling rivalry is good.

  4. William Stewart June 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I love teasing my daughter about the word “Caramel”. She showed me this site just to teach me that I was wrong lol. Thanks from a dad that is pleasantly disappointed 🙂

  5. Sarah July 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I just moved to Portland, OR, and there are so many restaurants here that spell it as Carmel. I thought I was going crazy. Thank you!

    • learn howtospeak June 4, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

      You are crazy hun, It is Carmel , fortunately the vintage spelling and pronunciation are rapidly fading away . i.e. , when was the last time you ” caramelized ” butter or sugar in a pan on your stove. YOU DON’T, you carmelize it . People would sure look at you strangely if you walked into ice cream store and asked for a caramel malt — , again , its CARMEL . You must be one of those people that that say “app-ricot” instead of “ape-ricot”

      • Chef Dave June 4, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

        Sarah, thank you for your post!

      • Zulu October 3, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

        We all say ap,ruh,koht on the west coat, honey.

      • Coffee cay cay June 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm - Reply

        Love this. Thank you.

  6. Erik December 27, 2017 at 12:58 am - Reply

    In the western United States there is a distinction between Caramel and Carmel. Caramel has the burned or a coffee like taste where Carmel does not and is therefore sweeter. I have noticed that I can’t find the same taste on the eastern seaboard.

    • Nyna May 26, 2019 at 11:14 am - Reply

      As someone from the west born and raised I can say that isnt true. They are synonymous.

  7. Zulu October 3, 2018 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    It’s kahr,muhl on the west coast. People will roll their eyes at you if you try to convince them it’s a 3 syllable word. They will do the same if you pronounce the nut as pee,kan instead of pah,kahn.

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