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How It’s Made: Caramel Corn From Epcot’s Karamell-Küche

A self-described “lover of all things Disney,” Mary Jo Collins takes a look at how the Karamell-Küche cast members make a little magic!

Karamell-Küche Caramel Corn

Move over Dole Whip and Carrot Cake Cookie, there is a new snack on the block and it has all the buzz of Foodies traveling to Walt Disney World! On September 30th, Epcot opened a new caramel shop in the Germany pavilion, called Karamell-Küche. It’s sponsored by Storck USA, who is the maker of Werther’s Original Caramels. What makes this ooey-gooey location so unique is that it’s the only free-standing, working Werther’s Caramel shop in the world.

Epcot's Karamell-Küche Caramel Shop

Why Will We Find It In Germany?
All caramel items made in the shop contain only Werther’s Original Caramel. The handcrafted caramels date back to 1909 when Gustav Nebel, Storck employee, developed a recipe for a new treat based on a recipe of caramel and creme. They were promptly named Werther’s after the small village of Werther where the confectionery factory was located. The popular German candy is well known for its smooth, buttery taste. As far as the popcorn used in the caramel corn, it is popped daily right in the store. Specifically, mushroom popcorn is used because of its increased surface area, which allows for more caramel to adhere to the kernel.

How It’s Made
Unlike its tri-divided-tin cousin, this caramel corn resonates with freshness. The buttery snack is made fresh every day in front of guests while enticing them with its mellow, sweet smell.

Guests of the shop can watch the actual making of the caramel corn, and one such guest mesmerized by this process was Bernie Edwards of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. He says that a large slab of Werther’s caramel (12x6x2″) is cut down into the size of marshmallows. Along with butter, the smaller cubes of caramel are melted down in a large pot — this takes around 15 minutes. The popcorn is added to the rich caramel goodness and is stirred carefully for about three minutes.

Karamell-Küche Cast Members

Bernie described the popcorn at this point as a “huge molten glob” and certainly not ready to eat. The cast member then takes two metal spatulas to start painstakingly separating the popcorn glob and ensuring the coating of all the pieces. The temperature, all the while, is going down. Lastly, the popcorn is further separated by hand after moving it to another tray by the cast member. On the day that Bernie visited the shop, there were two cast members working “full time” to make the treat.

Separating Corn Kernels

Finished Caramel Corn

What makes this little concoction even more special is that a small bag ($2.95) is a mere one snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. And the beauty of this snack is that it can be shared. One bag can easily feed two people, if not more. And if you don’t finish the bag while touring World Showcase, the bag conveniently helps transport the remainder back to your resort. Surprisingly, a few bags that made it home with me this past trip were delicious even a week later, making it a good option for a little gift for someone back home. The larger bags are not included on the Disney Dining Plan, but are still reasonably priced at $5.95.

Bag of Caramel Corn from Karamell-Küche

But Get This!
Here comes the ironic part about this trendy snack from the German pavilion: neither caramel, nor caramel corn was invented in Germany. According to food historians, the act of caramelization, the highest stage of heated sugar, was practiced in the 17th century in France. However, the confection that we know and love as caramel was first developed in the 1880s in North America. In addition, the first caramel corn was also more of an American invention. A German immigrant, Frederick William Rueckheim, and his brother Louis created a mixture of popcorn, molasses and peanuts and sold it at the first Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. It was later coined “Cracker Jack” by an enthusiastic sampler which meant it was of excellent quality.

Giving Out Samples

Regardless of the origin of the chewy, buttery carmel corn, patrons of the Karamell-Küche are going to revel in this simple, yet delicious snack. With free samples given out daily and the display of its creation, Karamell-Küche’s caramel corn will make Germany a World Showcase destination.

Thanks again, Mary Jo! I’m pretty sure the caramel corn is going to taste even better knowing how much hard work (and butter!) goes into it! And thanks to Bernie Edwards from the Disney World Moms Panel for contributing to the piece. We hope you’ll see these two team up on more Disney Food Blog guest author posts soon!

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26 Comments

  1. Carolyn says:

    Great article! This is going on my list of things to try at Epcot. I love caramel corn but fresh and buttery caramel corn —to die for. Can’t wait!

  2. SharonC says:

    Caramel makes me : )

  3. Alan says:

    Mary Jo – You made me feel like I was there watching them make the caramel corn. While we always want new big rides and attractions at WDW, these smaller additions are what makes me visit as often as I can. The big attractions bring the wonder but the smaller ones bring the warmth.

  4. annie says:

    I just got back on Sunday from WDW and through out my trip used several of my snack credits on this new delicious treat. You will not be disappointed grab a bag and enjoy the Fireworks in Epcot or just continue to stroll through the World Showcase while you munch!

  5. Beth says:

    I’m something of a caramel corn addict, so I will have to try this when I’m back at Epcot in December (hopefully for the D23 Magic and Merriment event–fingers crossed!!) It’s interesting that they use Werther’s since most caramel corn is made by making a caramel sauce from butter, sugar, and vanilla, not from candy. So it should be a unique taste!

  6. Molly says:

    I will be at WDW in November and cannot wait to go to the Karamell Kuche. Everything you’ve shown from there has looked amazing.

  7. Nummy!! Oh, I have to say it really is good when they offer up a still-warm sample. Man, now my morning is ruined drooling over caramel corn while I sit here drinking a non-fat latte. Hmm, I might have to go in search of a caramel drizzle now. Thanks Mary Jo and Bernie! Save me a place in that long, long line for buttery goodness. :-D…

  8. Jo says:

    Great article, Mary Jo! I walked into this shop the weekend it opened. The smells were amazing! We need Smell-O-Vision Disney Food Blog! :)

  9. Christina says:

    Right now I’m dreaming of mixing the Karmell Kuche corn with cheese corn…drool… :)

  10. Mary Jo Collins says:

    Thanks guys for all the kind comments. Alan, I really liked how you said this kind of smaller attraction, if you will, gives the warmth to the parks. That is so true and I had never thought of it that way. Also, I think the quality of the food and snacks in the parks gives us all more of a connection as well. When we get back from a trip, we dream about the unique food we ate and hope that the next trip will come even sooner.

  11. Neil says:

    This was a great place. Even though we had already been to Epcot twice and it was a F/W Saturday, we still went back for a third time to burn off our remaining snack credits. The only problem was that the staff was too new to handle a small hiccup (I thought I had one more credit than I actually did, which somehow required a manager’s intervention). Well, that and the resulting long line behind me while they gathered my mega order.

  12. Shayne says:

    Oh goodness! I just got back from Chicago, where I gleefully picked up some Garrett’s caramel corn. This looks every bit as good. Adding it to the “Must Try” list!

  13. In the words of Rachel Ray “Yummo”! I will definitely be trying this on my next trip!

  14. Josh says:

    That’s some interesting information to learn. I did know about the Mushroom Kernels and the reason behind them, but not the rest.

    I rarely eat popcorn because I hate how it gets stuck in my teeth!

  15. Michael says:

    Karamel Küche with “ü” or “ue” it is pronounced like the y in physical!

  16. AKTammy says:

    Seriously – THE BEST caramel popcorn EVER (and the smell of the shop is to die for)!!!! I bought a little bag and walked around Epcot munching on it. By the time we got back to the car and to our hotel – I was wanting MOOOOORE. Hopefully heading back in August, this time though, A GINORMOUS bag to take home. YUM!

  17. Mike says:

    Can This be ordered? If so, how and where.

  18. Chris says:

    My mom contacted Werthers and they don’t sell. We went through the large bag with four of us a 2 days, it is absolutely sinful, I’m thinking I need another disney trip to get more!

  19. AJ says:

    Chris and MIke — Bummer on the not selling!! I love that stuff!

  20. fjfuchs says:

    WHO, WHO, WHO would share a bag. NOT AJ!

  21. lgsteelers says:

    We were just there earlier this week. Had one of the small bags and bought a big bag to bring home to our son. The one we had in the store seemed thicker, not sure really if that describes it but the bagged Werthers we brought back is over the top, much better than the one we got in the store and this is a few days after we got back. Had I known how good it was, I definitely would have bought a few more bags. yummmy!!

    I was looking on the werthers site hoping I could buy more and no go. :-( they need to offer this online!!

  22. Susan Holley says:

    I got 2 bags the last week in Oct. and it is now gone how sad :( I need to go back and get 4 bags. I have been online no luck this is my christmas wish if anyone could help Santa!

  23. Jerry Adams says:

    Took a big bag of this to work and it was gone is no time at all. Wish we could order a box of this for Christmas gifts.

  24. Jean Stolarski says:

    We bought some of the best caramel swirls and caramel squares and caramel corn and chewy candy. Now where can we get more. Our family is having withdrawal. Wow, I’d go back just to go there and England’s fish and chips. Fabulous

  25. Mary Ann Petrucci says:

    Where can I buy this popcorn outside of Epcot. I love, love it!!!

  26. MrToad says:

    Headed here on Sunday, something new for us to try. Just from the looks I’m already drooling!!

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