Thursday, September 13, 2007

Walkers Nonsuch Toffee

One of the cultural differences it took me a while to get over was the British insistence on calling caramel “toffee”. I can forgive them, mostly because they do such a nice job making soft toffee in the classic butter caramel style. For those Brits reading, in the US we call toffee a hard crack, boiled sugar and butter mixture.

Walkers' Nonsuch ToffeeLast weekend I went to a new British food shop called The British Food Shop in Laguna Niguel. They had a very nice selection of consumer candies from the United Kingdom at decent prices, everything also looked exceptionally fresh. I picked out quite a few things, including some Walkers’ Nonsuch Toffee.

The big slabs aren’t much to look at, unless you hold it up in bright light and admire the depth and richness of the pure caramelized color ... like it’s a Tahitian pearl or a puppy.


The bars aren’t really user-friendly and a bit hefty at 3.5 ounces. They have little sections in them, but the best way to eat the candy is to chill it and then whack it firmly on the corner of the table or counter. I find this works best if you put it in a ziploc baggie first, lest it burst its way out of the package.

The toffee smells buttery and rich. It’s a very firm caramel chew, so it helps to prewarm it in the palm of your hand or in your mouth for a moment before trying to chew it.

It’s ultra smooth, not too sweet and barely salty. The burnt sugar notes and true butter flavor are a simple pleasure.

The package states that there are no artificial colors or preservatives, but neglects to mention the artificial emulsifier (E471, also known as mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, which may be from an animal source). 8 out of 10

Treacle ToffeeThe other variety I couldn’t resist is their Treacle Toffee. For those of you unfamiliar with the term treacle, it’s basically molasses and is often called golden syrup. This toffee features 13% black treacle, which sounds extra good.

Molasses is revered for its nutritional profile, it’s like sugar, only with plenty of necessary minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron). Those minerals add a wonderful woodsy, nutty taste to the sweet syrup. I’ve had a craving for molasses for a few weeks, I’m guessing it’s an essential mineral I’m missing or something. I’ve been pondering a recipe for Molasses and Peanut Butter Bread Pudding. But that’s neither here nor there ... this is a review of toffees!

This toffee smelled like pecans, maple sugar and a cedar closet filled with caramels and honey all at once.

This chew is just as smooth and satisfying, if a little less sweet than the original variety. I really enjoyed both the depth of the flavor and the consistent chew of it.  9 out of 10

Now I’m curious to try Walkers’ other nutted varieties of their toffee and of course the licorice variety. The company has been making toffee (and only toffee) for over a hundred years and is still run by the Walker family. I like the idea that a company that makes a quality product can simply continue doing so generation after generation. Toffee may not be the most popular candy category any longer (chocolate is), but it still has an important place in the confectionery pantheon.

Related Candies

  1. Storck Chocolate Riesen
  2. Sugar Babies
  3. Caramel Previews: Mitchell Sweets & Caramoos
  4. Valerie Toffees & Nougats
  5. Enstrom’s Toffee
Name: Original Toffee & Treacle Toffee
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Walkers' Nonsuch
Place Purchased: British Food Shop (Laguna Niguel)
Price: $1.77
Size: 3.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 137
Categories: Caramel, United Kingdom

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:09 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Oh, my. These look so good!

    I was in Scotland a few years ago and was so disappointed in the candy selection. All I seemed to find were Kit Kats and other standard candy bars (in places like Tesco). I did not really have a chance to search out more regional goodies. I wish I’d come across Walkers’.

    I may have to plan an LA trip soon and put this shop on the itinerary!

    Comment by Kate on 9/13/07 at 7:14 am #
  2. Hiya,

    Treacle and golden syrup are different things! Treacle is thick and black; molasses, indeed. Golden syrup is much lighter (in flavour as well as colour) and is basically honey-like.

    Great review of a lovely pair of products, though. smile

    Comment by Jenny Radcliffe on 9/13/07 at 9:13 am #
  3. I am ingrigued by treacle.  My parents went to England and France earlier this year, and my one and only request was treacle.  Instead, I received really bland and mediocre milk chocolate from Maxim’s in Paris. “My mom and dad went to Paris and all I got was this lousy milk chocolate!”
      So sad.  I love my folks like crazy, but they really need an escort (me) when buying sweets. Last week my mom, with yours truly in tow, bought us an excellent bar of 75% Chocolat Bonnat - for example.

    Comment by Joanna on 9/13/07 at 12:50 pm #
  4. I had SO looked forward to an indulgence in a Polish candy bar this summer - with toffee!  Well, just as you state here - within was a soft, gooey/creamy toffee.  I was disappointed as I like my toffee hard.  A little time in the freezer improved it - but just taught me - in Europe, toffee does mean something else grin

    Comment by elzie on 9/13/07 at 7:11 pm #
  5. =DAh I always love it when our English sweets are reviewed by Americans.^^
    =O I prefer to eat it softer and warmer though.
    Nice blog!

    Comment by Twinkleh on 9/14/07 at 5:34 am #
  6. I don’t believe you have reviewed it but I really recommend Lonka
    Pretty much anything they make—I especially love their Old English Fudge which is awesome!

    Comment by Mary on 9/14/07 at 6:06 am #
  7. Yeah, golden syrup and treacle are different - both are DIVINE though =)

    That bread pudding sounds lush…  Any chance of the recipe wink ?

    Comment by Fay on 9/14/07 at 6:14 am #
  8. So “English Toffee” is neither English, nor toffee?  I’m so confused.  LOL.

    Comment by Julilla on 9/14/07 at 8:07 am #
  9. When you are done pondering the bread pudding recipe.  Post it!  Sound like a great flavor combination.

    Comment by Jules on 9/15/07 at 3:00 am #
  10. I was going to leap in and make the comment about treacle but seems lots of others got there sooner:) If I remember rightly, the toffee has sometimes been sold with a small metal hammer! This was a long time back, so perhaps I’m remembering another brand…

    Comment by Duncan | Syrup&Tang on 9/16/07 at 12:13 am #
  11. “...and admire the depth and richness of the pure caramelized color ... like it?s a Tahitian pearl or a puppy.”  This has to be one of my most favorite of you descriptions, you really nailed it- it is the color of a puppy!  I love that!  You have an excellent way with words.

    Comment by Mary Louise on 9/19/07 at 12:07 pm #
  12. I just bought the original version after reading your recommendation and holy cow was it good! Even if mine was labeled with a sell by date in April of this year.

    Comment by Rosa on 6/12/08 at 1:29 pm #
  13. I buy this toffee by the box at Long’s Drugstore, which has some sort of British food connection—and if you are interested in cookies, they also sell Norfolk Manor Lemon Biscuits and Orange Biscuits that are crisp and buttery and as good as any cookies in the world. I like this and also like the treacle, which has a dark molasses flavor. But I LOVE the brazil nut toffee. It gets hard and you smack it against a table top and eat it piece by piece. Very bad for your fillings but so delicious.

    Comment by Jane on 9/14/08 at 5:03 pm #
  14. Yeap there is deffinatly a difference between Black Treacle and Goldern Syrup, both sweet but two completely different sorts.

    Anyways mu mum used to make this stuff called bonfire toffee from brack treacle and once made and ready to eat she would go out side wrap it up in a plastic bag and a large towel and then proceed to hit it with a very large and heavy hammer. Great stress relieve and a lovely treat afterwards.

    Comment by Caroline on 10/17/08 at 7:01 am #
  15. I meant ‘my mum’ not ‘mu mum’.

    Comment by Caroline on 10/17/08 at 7:02 am #
  16. Walker’s toffees are often sold in a larger package which includes a small metal toffee hammer, which serves the purpose of breaking the bar into small bits which can be consumed more easily.

    Comment by Susan on 4/29/09 at 12:25 pm #
  17. Walkers toffee is the best. there is no toffee better then walkers

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/10/10 at 11:21 am #
  18. I love your candy and i need to know if you export to Portugal. I got some that came from the Netherlands antillies. I love them very much. I wish i could buy it.

    Comment by Ana on 5/23/12 at 10:46 am #
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