“Caramel apples” or “carmel apples”?

Though one is technically spelled incorrectly, according to the Merriam dictionary, saying one versus the other will more than likely spark a heated debate.

And if you’re from a certain part of the country, one is most certainly the correct way to say it versus the other.

Caramel versus carmel: Which is it?

The debate, in fact, reached a fever pitch in 2013, when The Atlantic published a study based on the findings of Fert Vaux and Marius L. Johndal at the University of Cambridge in which the pair surveyed around 11,500 people to find the way people of certain areas say words differently.

The findings were eventually illustrated by Joshua Katz, a then doctoral student in linguistics at N.C. State. One such map Katz created showed the stark geographic divide between saying “carmel” versus “caramel”.

The question remains, though. When you’re at the fair, do you order a “carmel apple” or a “caramel apple”?