The Jakarta Post
Marketing analysts have found a scientific explanation for our never-ending craving for salted caramel. (Shutterstock/File)
A recent scientific study led by marketing analysts Dr. Cammy Crolic and professor Chris Janiszewski of the University of Florida reveals why we can’t say no to salted caramel.
The confection of sugar, salt, milk and fat was created in the 1980s by inventive French chef Henri Le Roux, and over three decades later, foodies around the world are decidedly addicted. Salted caramel has appeared in desserts, chocolates, fudge and ice cream. It has also taken new form as coffees, teas, alcoholic beverages, peanut spreads and powdered sugar.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and it is curious as to how this creation from an obscure confectioner in Northern France has become so widely popular.
According to The Independent, the mixture presses the "want-more" button in our brains through "hedonic escalation“.
The abstract of the study describes hedonic escalation as: "...an increasing appreciation for each additional bite of a palatable food. Hedonic escalation is more likely to occur when (1) a palatable food consists of a complex combination of flavors and (2) a person has the ability to identify the flavors.”
In layman's terms, the phenomenon simply makes us want more.
Scientific studies in the 1990s revealed that the brain releases chemicals called endogenous opioids that produce a calming effect when we eat something sweet, salty or fatty. Salted caramel is all three.
So while finicky gastronomes might move on to other trends to explore new flavors, those who have already fallen in love with salted caramel may find that their "confectionary addiction" might be here to stay. (afr/asw)