The Cadbury Caramello — or Caramilk as it’s known in England — was invented by British chocolatier John Cadbury. Dissatisfied with the lack of gooey centers in the world he left behind, his enraged spirit roused after nearly eight decades of peaceful slumber to push the first Caramello bars into production in 1968.
As a child growing up in the late ‘80s, though, I felt the mystical enchantment of this confection went beyond the supernatural and into the realm of the superhuman.
One of my earliest food memories revolves around a Caramello commercial: it’s 1989, and biting into a Cadbury Caramello grants an average man the uncanny ability to stretch any object in his apartment using only his bare hands. "Strrrretch it out—Caramello!" admonishes a voice reminiscent of Huey Lewis.
Chalk it up to my love of Superman or my childlike faith in advertising, but I couldn’t resist. Who would turn down a candy bar that grants uncanny stretching powers to all who consume it?
My mother insisted that biting into a Caramello wouldn’t allow me to stretch out the dog, but I knew she was wrong. I was on mission to attain world saving capabilities (or at least make the TV bigger) and there was no time to waste.
I bit halfway through one of the caramel-filled pockets of chocolate and stretched the bar away from my teeth as I sang the ritualistic chant: “Strrrretch it —”
I wasn’t able to finish because the strand of caramel broke and hit my chin. I looked foolish but remained undaunted, seizing a lamp from a near-by table and tried to strrrretch it out.
But the dang thing wouldn’t budge. No stretching, no super powers. Just a symphony of rich velvety caramel and Cadbury’s trademark über-milky chocolate. What a shame… ? I was mystified.
The adult version of me is at least glad that I didn’t try canned spinach on the advice of Popeye. And, unless you consider seven cavities a superpower, you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV.