Caramel is a kind of sweet candy. In this song, a woman consoles herself with food because she misses her lover.
Vega wrote this in the style of classic old songs like "The Girl From Ipanema." Says Vega, "It's a song about longing for something and wishing for something you know you really shouldn't have. Caramel is the metaphor for the thing you long for, but you shouldn't really touch."