The terms taffy and toffee are used interchangeably to refer to either of them. However, apart from being candies, taffy and toffee are different. Simply put, a taffy is a sticky and soft candy, whereas a toffee is a hard and brittle candy.
Taffy is prepared by boiling sugar, vegetable oil or butter, flavorings, and coloring. The resulting mass is pulled or stretched until it gets aerated, producing a light, fluffy, and chewy candy. It is then rolled, cut into pieces, and wrapped in wax paper. The paper keeps it soft. Toffee is made by boiling sugar and butter until the mass is stiff enough to pull and shape. The resulting lump should hold and have a glossy surface. It is then poured into a tray and allowed to cool and form a sticky to hard, brittle slab.
Taffy Vs Toffee: Overview
Taffy first appeared in the US in 1817. The name taffy is a metaphor meaning insincere flattery. The British variation of taffy is Tuffy or ‘Toughy’. In Europe, taffys are known as chewy sweets, fruits, or chews. In New Jersey, from 1840 to 1870, locals would hold ceremonies they referred to as taffy pull. During this function, the host would boil Sugar or sorghum and molasses to form a mass the people would play with.
Participants would then apply butter to their hands and pull and twist the mass between two partners to aerate the lump. The resulting product would be fluffy and chewy. The taffy game was popular at birthday parties and other celebrations.
Ingredients Of Taffy
Taffy has two main ingredients, sugar, and butter or vegetable oil. With modernization, the stretching and pulling process has been mechanized. In the late 19th century in New Jersey, salty water taffy, a soft variety of taffy, was founded. It is still available in parts like Cape Cod and Salt Lake City, Utah. The main ingredients of the salty water taffy are; sugar syrup, salt, butter, cornstarch, corn syrup, water, glycerin, flavors, and coloring.
Taffy comes in more than 100 flavors. They include; jalapeno, cantaloupe, lemon, orange, watermelon, raspberry, vanilla, and banana. In Canada, during Halloween, a special molasses candy known as “Hallowe’en Kisses” is manufactured for celebrations.
In the 1940s, a Turkish factory came up with a taffy that they sold at Coney Island amusement park. They used egg white and corn syrup to make an inexpensive, chew taffy that lasted for a long time. In 2010, it was relaunched in Chicago and is available in the market.
Other Ways To Enjoy Taffy
Apart from eating your candy bar, you can use taffy chips to top your salad and sprinkle on your smoothie, yogurt, cookies, ice cream, pancakes, and biscuits, among other dishes. This may sound odd, but taffy can be used to sweeten your coffee, as one reviewer on a cooking site revealed.
Toffee originated from England in the 1820s. Historians believe it was produced in Wales and later introduced to the rest of England. In America, the traditional toffee is popularly known as English toffee to differentiate it from the American variation, also known as buttercrunch.
The main ingredients of toffee are sugar syrup, water, and butter with several flavorings including lemon, orange, and coffee, among others. A lot of recipes include nuts such as almonds and walnuts. Toffee has no added artificial colorings, the process of caramelization gives it its brown color.
Traditional English Toffee
The traditional English toffee consists of white cane or beet sugar, brown sugar syrup, butter, and molasses. Molasses turn to near black when caramelized, thus giving the English toffee a deep, rich color. Molasses are flavorful and give this toffee a rich flavor. This toffee has no nuts or any other inclusions. January 8th is National English Toffee Day.
Traditional American Toffee
The American version of toffee is popularly known as buttercrunch. It is made with white or brown granulated cane sugar, and corn syrup. Corn syrup is a mild variation from molasses that is lighter in color and flavor. The American coffee is lighter in color, and the flavor is not so rich. Its recipe often includes nuts such as walnuts and almonds and other inclusions such as raisins.
Secondary Uses Of Toffee
You can get your coffee in small pieces or as a whole bar. Just like taffy, you can chop your coffee into small pieces and use them to sprinkle on smoothies, fruit salads, ice cream, cakes, and cookies.
Homemade Taffy And Toffee
Both taffy and toffee are made in factories for commercial purposes. MAking them at home would not be economically viable. However, you can make these candies for your family at home. What you need to note is that for taffy, after boiling your ingredients, you pull and stretch the mass to aerate for a fluffy, light, and chewy candy. While preparing toffee, you boil all ingredients and wait for them to cool down before cutting them into the desired shapes and sizes.
A Summarized Comparison Between Taffy And Toffee
|Texture||Fluffy, light and chewy||Hard and brittle|
|Origin||United States||United Kingdom|
|Color||Light||Traditional English -dark
Traditional American- light
|Inclusions||None||Nuts, raisins, among others|
|Main ingredients||Sugar and butter or vegetable oil||Sugar and butter.|
|Coloring||Yes-artificial or natural||None|
|Aeration||Aerate by Pulling and stretching the mass||No aeration needed|
|National Day||May 23rd||January 8th|
In conclusion, taffy is a light, fluffy, and chewy candy, whereas toffee is a hard and brittle candy. Taffy and toffee have almost similar ingredients but different preparation methods, giving them the difference in color, flavor, and texture.