There are actually quite a few theories floating around about the history of toffee. You'd think we would have nailed it down to two or three possibilities, but there are actually six theories about where toffee comes from:
- The origin of the world is debatable - the word was first published in 1825 in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it is thought that the word exisited before it was put in the dictionary and the origins of the word are not clear
- Some believe that the word is derived from the word "tafia" which is actually West Indian rum. Cheap rum used to be used to flavor candies.
- In the native Creole language, toffee is a mixture of molasses and sugar. Harold McGee, a food writer, originally said this. Unfortunately, he did not mention which Creole language he was speaking about so we don't actually know.
- A third theory says that toffee's earlier spelling, "toughy" or "tuffy", was actually meant to refer to it's chewy toughness. The term is said to have come from a southern British dialect.
- Some think that English toffee is a variant of a 19th century candy. Because slave labor drastically lowered the prices of sugar and treacle at the start of the 19th century, the key ingredients needed to create toffee became available to average people. Seeking a frugal solution, two english ladies decided to combine these two ingredients and created a wonderful treat.
- Toffee comes in many different forms and varieties. Because there are so many different types and mixtures, its hard to say where it really originated from.
So, what do you think? Which of the six theories do you think is correct?
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