Butterscotch-type toffee slightly flavoured, now with lemon.
Firm tradition traces Everton Toffee to Molly Bushell, a confectionery-maker of the 1760's in what was then a picturesque village outside Liverpool. The company she founded passed down through her family, to be sold in 1894 to Nobletts of Liverpool, makers of Everton Mints. It appears that, following the takeover, Nobletts started using a slightly fanciful image of Molly Bushell as a trademark, but later changed her name to 'Mother Noblett', leading to some confusion as to which company was actually responsible for which Everton sweet.
The Old Everton Toffee Shop
Everton Football Club are known as 'The Toffees', and the sweet-dispensing 'Toffee Lady' is a pre-match feature of their home games. It is generally assumed that the original Toffee Lady was Molly Busshell herself, engaged in some promotional give-aways, "On the other hand," as the 'Toffeeweb' Everton supporters website says, "this yarn may be just so many old half-chewed toffees..." noting that Molly died in 1818, more than 60 years before the club was founded. Nowadays a sprightly girl is selected from the ranks of Everton's Supporters Club to perform the honoured task.
The Old Everton Toffee Shop
Original Receipt in The Frugal Cook By E. Carter, 1851
Boil half an ounce of bruised ginger in half a pint of water till it obtains the flavour of the ginger; strain it put the liquor into a saucepan add two pounds of sugar and one ounce of butter; let them simmer gently over the fire for some time then take a piece of clean tobacco pipe dip it into cold water, then with it stir the mixture round plunge the pipe into the water, if the sugar adheres to it and becomes crisp pour it into tins which have been buttered ready for use.
Graphic: Phoebe Barton. Photo: Everton, 2017
Original Receipt in A Treatise on The Art of Boiling Sugar By Henry Weatherley, 1865;
This article varies with the different makers some make it with loaf sugar for the sake of color, but it is not so good in flavor, others put the butter in with the sugar when first put on the fire which method possesses no advantage but on the contrary causes loss of time in boiling, weakens the sugar, and spoils the flavor, this however is the old process of making it. The best method is as follows; To 7 lbs of best raw sugar put 3½ pints of water and boil it between the ball and crack or 245 degrees; put into the boil 1 lb fresh butter, boil it nearly to the crack over a slow fire, add a teaspoonful of essence of lemon, just boil it in and pour into the frames. For special purposes 4 to 8 ounces more butter can be used.
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