Napa's Melodi Donahue put a positive spin on a condition that's affected her for her whole life, naming her vegan confection company OCD Sweets (Obsessive Confection Disorder). We discovered her wonderfully unusual agave nectar caramels earlier this year and are now somewhat enamored with the latest product: Caramel 'Not' Corn, which are chewy, popcorn-sized bites of marshmallow, coconut, rice, corn, caramel, and India Pale Ale (the latter could also make you think of beer 'Nots').
As it turns out, we're not the only ones touting this treat: Caramel 'Not' Corn and other OCD Sweets offerings have been selected as official confections for the swag bags at the 2012 Academy Awards.
"My friends really, really want me to make caramel-wrapped mallows," explains Donahue of its creation. "I can't just use store bought mallows, not my style, so I've been practicing and tweaking and obsessing for weeks, but my homemade mallows always look like they were steamrolled on hot asphalt. They taste amazing, but I won't show those raggedy ass mallows to anyone."Despite the visual flaws, Donahue knew she was onto something. "I picked up brown rice cereal at Whole Foods and whipped up a batch of chewy krispie treats," she continues. "The treats turned out too sweet, so I threw in a little ale caramel, sea salt and pretzels. The result was a sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy thing that tasted just like caramel corn, except it wasn't -- hence the name 'Not' Corn . . . My dad always said I could make sugar outta shit. I guess I can make kick-ass treats out of sorry mallows, too." Pick up these Oscar contenders online or at Other Avenues (3930 Judah at 44th Ave.).