Govatos caramel apples

Some of the caramel apples by Govatos in Wilmington, Delaware.

October 28, 2011 2:29:20 PM PDT
The Delaware Valley is ripe with autumn's best apples, and one family in Delaware has been turning them into a fall favorite for more than a century.

The Govatos are in the process of handcrafting their final caramel apples of the season! We went bobbing behind the scenes in Wilmington to find out the secret to their hand-dunked signature treats that will be gone before you can say "boo."

"They are wonderful! They have had them for years and years and years," says longtime Donna Haase.

117 years to be exact! Sweet, sticky caramel apples made the same chewy yet crunchy way for more than a century, down to the core.

"It's a recipe carried down through the family from my great uncle John Govatos who founded the business," says owner Nick Govatos. "We do the same actual recipe to this day."

Since 1894, folks in Wilmington say the sign on the door at Govatos signals the official start of fall.

"People come from all over to get caramel apples and some of my friends mail them out," Haase says.

The red delicious apples are enrobed in a warm bath of rich, gooey caramel goodness, and often rolled and wrapped in a coating of crushed, crunchy, buttery Brazil nuts.

"Most people use peanuts," Govatos says. "The Brazils really enhance the flavor of the caramel."

Nick Govatos is 3rd generation using the same equipment his ancestors did, from the antique caramel cooker to the old copper kettles.

But he says the trick of the popular treat isn't just about the culinary skill, it's more like meteorology!

"We only make them in the beginning of October and all the way to the 31st or 30th depending on weather," he explains.

"We really can't make a batch if it's humid. It has to be good weather conditions."

That's because, he says, caramel is so fickle that if there's a hint of moisture in the air, it won't stick to the apples!

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Govatos Chocolates
800 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE
(302) 652-4082


4105 Concord Pike
Talleyville, DE
(302) 478-5324

You can also buy the apples at:
Glen Willow Orchards, Pa. 41 and Glen Willow Road
Avondale, Pa.
(610) 268-8743)


Janssen's Market
3801 Kennett Pike
(302) 654-994

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