Are you someone who looks through a bag of potato chips to find the darkest ones? Is your favorite part of the pizza the slightly burnt edge of the crust? Do you keep the toaster down until it starts to smoke? If so, we have a treat for you. Dark-roasted peanuts, as made in Easton’s Carmelcorn Shop, are regular peanuts that are left in the roaster extra-long, resulting in a pecan-hued nut with a serious crunch. They are well-salted, with a slightly bitter background note, and as you chew them they crumble into little bits, rather than turn to peanut butter as do regular roasted peanuts. We love ’em. Normal peanuts are also available, as well as just about any other kind of roasted nut you can think of.
We’ve always been attracted to the ancient nut/candy/popcorn shops in America’s downtowns. Most are long gone, but a few stalwarts remain, such as M & D-R-Nuts a little further north in Binghamton, and the Carmelcorn Shop here in Easton. Open since 1931, the Carmelcorn Shop is a modest store on the square in Easton. A fire in their building closed them down at the end of ’06, but they have since reopened and are as good as new! They, of course, make caramel corn. We often find ourselves with a big can of toothachingly sweet fundraiser candied popcorn around the holidays, purchased from a co-worker’s tots. The stuff made at Carmelcorn couldn’t be more different: the corn is freshly popped, and the result is the lightest caramel corn we’ve ever had. The taste is more of corn than candy.
When we next pass through we plan to try the homemade coconut candies they’re also known for, including a coconut brittle that intrigues us.