Everton Toffee, Merseyside
The story behind Everton toffee is a rather picturesque one, the success of the product being down to the diligence of one woman, Molly Bushell.
Molly was of very humble stock, living in the 18th century in what was then the prosperous suburb of Everton, home to merchants and sea captains, the view to the Welsh hills bringing visitors to the place from far and wide. When her children were suffering with coughs a local doctor gave Molly a recipe for toffee to be used to relieve the ailment. She took it, and quickly saw - or tasted - the possibilities for a commercial venture. Working from home she developed the toffee making to a fine art, using only simple ingredients but cooking them to perfection.
Everton toffee is a close cousin to butterscotch, or bonfire toffee. It uses butter and sugar, a little water or milk to loosen the mixture, and essence of lemon to flavour it (though some omit this).
Carefully stirred to achieve the right high-boiled finish it was traditionally set in buttered moulds.
Everton FC have long been known as 'the toffees', by association with the sweet, and it is a custom still at their home matches for a young woman to sell toffees to the crowd.
Everton mints are an offshoot of the toffee tradition, their striped nature reflecting a long-gone strip of the football club, or so it is said.
On this day: