Coco Karamel

DULCE DE LOVELY

By Natasha Cousin
Good-looking, sweet and interesting. Although this doubles as our date wish list, we’re actually talking alfajores. Coco Karamel alfajores to be precise. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one of these charming cookies, let us introduce you. But be warned – you’ll fall head over heels in love.

Pronounced alfa-hor-es, these sweet snacks are staples in Argentina. Traveling by bus? They’ll hand out alfajores. Going to a party? You’ll be served alfajores. Celebrating a milestone? You’ll get the gift of alfajores.

“In Argentina, it’s crazy. You go over there and people are eating Alfajores for breakfast, lunch and snack,” explains Sergio Lopez, co-owner of Coco Karamel. Sergio and his wife Marisa are both from the province of Buenos Aires, where Marisa learned to make Alfajores at an early age.

“In Argentina, every woman knows how to make a traditional alfajor,” Marisa says with a goodhearted laugh, as if it’s the silliest question she’s heard all day. We’re in the sun-filled front room of the new Coco Karamel building in Calgary and I’m blitzing her with questions about the curious little cookies while Spanish music plays softly in the background.

Sitting down at a dainty white table ornamented with pink flowers to have a cup of coffee and an alfajor, I see why they’re so popular. Each alfajor comes individually wrapped by hand and sealed with a sticker, which makes unwrapping your cookie feel like the start of a luxurious little break to the day. Once you bite into the soft but dense snack, the crumbly cookie melts in your mouth and the smooth filling lingers deliciously on your tongue. The traditional alfajor is made with two vanilla cookies protecting a creamy dulce de leche filling with a little bit of coconut rolled along the circumference, sticking to the sweet insides that bulge out slightly. For the uninitiated, dulce de leche is a sweet milk caramel that is very popular in South America.

Coco Karamel also offers semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate versions made with dulce de leche and chocolate cookies dipped in more chocolate, and a quince version made with vanilla cookies and fruit jam. Marisa makes the majority of the cookies by herself, getting help from family members now and then. As she takes us into the production room to walk through the many steps of making an alfajor, her perpetual smile and eagerness to educate tell us she doesn’t mind all the hard work. The company has grown from its farmers’ market roots with a rolling pin and cookie cutter, but most of the process is still done by hand.

“I like the stage we’re in,” says Marisa. “The cookies are still homemade.”

And while the dulce de leche is imported from Argentina (it’s better there, insists both Marisa and Sergio), the rest of the ingredients are purchased locally whenever possible and contain no added preservatives.

You can purchase Coco Karamel alfajores in all Calgary and Edmonton Sunterra Markets. For custom orders, visit cocokaramel.ca.
Signature Sunterra
Friday Night Feast

FRIDAY NIGHT FEAST

Let us make Friday nights easy
Cooking Classes
Fresh Rewards
Suppliers and Vendors

SUPPLIERS AND VENDORS

See where our food comes from
About Us

ABOUT US

We are farmers, butchers, chefs, bakers and baristas. But above all else, we are passionate food experts.

Learn more
Work with Sunterra

WORK WITH SUNTERRA

We value our Team Members as much as our loyal customers, and we want you to be part of our amazing team.

Come see what it’s like to work with us
Online Newsletter

ONLINE NEWSLETTER

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date on new products, find new recipes and learn what items Fresh Rewards members can get for free.

Sign up
Our Community

OUR COMMUNITY

The Sunterra ROOTS program defines our behaviour and commitment to the community. We believe in reciprocity, opportunity, openness, trust and service.

Learn more
MARKETbar by Sunterra

MARKETbar by Sunterra

Located on the third floor of Sunterra Market Keynote, MARKETbar offers fresh, casual food in a beautiful modern setting with great views of the city.

Take a look inside