Caramelpalooza 2012: Sugar Rush Last Night at Smeeks

Categories: Caramelpalooza

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Claire Lawton
​Anyone else have a wicked sugar hangover this morning?

Thanks to all -- chefs, judges, caramel eaters -- who came out to Smeeks candy shop last night for the third annual Caramelpalooza, co-sponsored by Smeeks and Chow Bella. Folks began lining up at 5:30, descended on the candy/ice cream/paleta/sauce/cookie makers by 7 and the confections were wiped out by 8 -- making the night short but very sweet. 

So who won?

We're still counting votes and tabulating results. So check back here Monday morning and we'll announce the winners in the following categories: Best Traditional Caramel; Best Out of the Box Use of Caramel; People's Choice and Best in Show.

See the full Caramelpalooza slideshow here.

See you Monday! We're off in search of some protein. 

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Location Info


2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help

This event was a mess, a disaster. In the past two events, lining up early guaranteed you a shot at all the purveyors. This time, getting there early and lining up meant nothing, as when the 7 p.m. bell tolled, it was a free-for-all scramble. And people had no compunction about butting in in front of you even if you had been waiting.
Purveyors ran out of their wares early--so how could they be fairly judged? And, one of them, Barb, had these minuscule caramels in different flavors, but was a Nazi in enforcing only one caramel each. So, how could one judge based on a tiny taste of only one flavor?
Yes, I know it was free. But this was the third time I attended and will be the last, unless it goes back to a more orderly and fair process. I diligently voted in the past two years. This time, I took the candy and got out of there because it was such an un-fun, messy affair.

Concerned Caramel Fan
Concerned Caramel Fan

Yeah, me too.  I lined up as usual, then didn't even get to sample something from every participant, due to the absolute lack of organization.  Of course, who would expect the New Times to actually be able to come close to pulling off any sort of normal event..

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