London, Apr 19 (ANI): The salt from Wales, which is used to make President Barack Obama's favourite caramel, has led to a boost in British food export figures for the fifth consecutive year.
The President's passion for Smoked Salt Caramels, produced by the artisan confectioner Fran's Chocolates of Seattle, led to total food and drink exports last year being valued at 9.65 billion pounds.
The increased sales were just 4.4 per cent, but in a year of the economic downturn, the performance has lifted morale among entrepreneurs in the food industry.
Remarkably, only the Oak Smoked Salt produced by the Anglesey Sea Salt Company, taken from the sea around the North Wales island and then smoked on Welsh oak, provides the mellow taste needed for the caramel.
In just 12 years David Lea-Wilson, director of the company, has achieved some 45 per cent of overseas sales in salt including the surprise uplift in the United States.
Orders for the oak-smoked variety have risen in line with the 35 per cent increase in sales of Smoked Salt Caramels after the President's inauguration.
The sweet has been a favourite for four years after one of his original campaign team, who hails from Seattle, gave him a box as a present.
And now, these caramels are handed out to visitors to the White House.
"We were experimenting with a milk chocolate caramel a few years ago but it was difficult to get the right taste," Times Online quoted Andrina Bigelow, daughter of chocolate maker Fran, as saying.
"My mother wanted salt in the caramel but not for it to be overpowerful. The smoked salt from Anglesey is very lightly smoked and just gives a hint of smokiness and so complements the other flavours in the chocolate," she added. (ANI)