If it appears that salted caramel is everywhere, you’re right. But the flavor’s rise to popularity in this country began about seven years ago. Of course, pastry chefs the world around have long known that a dash of salt both heightens and balances sweetness. That technique went mainstream, according to the New York Times, when Häagen-Dazs launched its salted caramel ice cream in 2008. Then Starbucks grabbed ahold of the flavor and a trend was born.

Today, salted caramel and its sweet sister, salted butterscotch, are found in a dizzying array of budinos, sauces (there’s a recipe in 5280: The Cookbook), ice creams, lattes, truffles, cookies, crème brûlées, and sticky buns). One of the better examples is the butterscotch pudding jar at the three-week-old Del Frisco’s Grille in Cherry Creek. Here, the casual offshoot of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, serves the dessert topped with an unusually thick layer of salted caramel and freshly whipped cream. A sprinkling of fancy salt flakes ensures each bite hits the ultimate sweet-to-tang ratio that, even seven years later, is still the flavor of the moment.

100 St. Paul St., 303-320-8529, delfriscosgrille.com/cherry-creek

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.