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Today's Musings, History & Folklore
Chopped Nuts & Chocolate Swirls
Jun 29 is Almond Buttercrunch Day, delicious toffee covered with chocolate and almonds!
One of the better known commercial versions of an almond buttercrunch, Almond Roca, is a confection similar to chocolate-covered English toffee. Almond Roca was invented in 1923 by the Brown & Haley Co. of Tacoma, Washington. The candy's name is said to have been inspired by Tacoma's head librarian, who chose the Spanish word "roca", meaning "rock." By company tradition, a small amount of the original 1923 batch of toffee is carried over into each subsequent batch of candy.
Almond Roca was first candy of its kind to be sold in bite-sized pieces. Previously, toffee had been poured in sheets and broken apart and sold by weight. Much like the success of M&Ms, the butter-crunch toffee, nut and milk chocolate treat gained customers because it could travel without melting or becoming stale thanks to its formula and the use of the pressurized packaging Brown and Haley developed in 1927, after drawing inspiration from the meat-packing industry. It even had the slogan of “the candy that travels.”
Almond Roca was shipped to American soldiers serving overseas during World War II, and later in Korea. The chocolate coating extended the candy's shelf life and the airtight tins protected it from vermin.
Variations abound, from traditional to pumpkin spice flavoured to buttercrunch with the addition of candied bacon. For a starting recipe for a traditional almond buttercrunch using an entire pound of butter, click the buttercrunch!