Apple of My Eye

All summer long, we’ve been eating food on sticks. Popsicles at poolside. Corn dogs at parish fairs and festivals.

Kebabs at backyard barbecues. The arrival of autumn has put a stop to our lazy days, but we don’t have to give up the simple joys of skewered foods just yet. Apples are ubiquitous this time of year, and there’s no better way to eat one than spearing it on a stick and coating it in homemade caramel.

Candy apples, the bright-red crunchy snacks we often see here sold at Carnival parades, were invented in 1908 in Newark, N.J., by candy-maker William W. Kolb. Kolb was experimenting with recipes for Christmas candy when he dipped some apples into molten red sugar and then displayed them in his shop window. They sold out and quickly became a sensation all along the Jersey shore before catching on nationwide. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, caramel apples are different from candy apples, and the origins of the caramel apple aren’t quite as clear. The company that claims to have “the original caramel apple,” though, is Chicago-based Affy Tapple, which started making the delicious treats in 1948.

Although both kinds of coated apples are tasty, caramel apples are easier to make in New Orleans because the humidity here can make it difficult to get candy to properly harden.

So with autumn truly upon us, it’s time to get out your leftover popsicle sticks, skewer up some Granny Smiths, whip up a batch of creamy caramel and get to dipping! Even encased in caramel, an apple a day is still good for something, right?

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