Product Type: Thorntons Chocolate
Newest Review: ... you put them in your mouth ,the hard toffee quickly turns to the unmistakable Thorntons creamy toffee flavour. The bag is big enough for s... more
Thorntons Special Toffee
Member Name: davidbuttery
Thorntons Special Toffee
Advantages: Absolutely delicious, lovely smell, both veggie and gluten-free
Disadvantages: Not for those on a diet
I don't eat an enormous amount of toffee, since an accident years ago has left me with a couple of artificial teeth, but I do take the risk every so often as I just can't resist the taste! So, when I sauntered past my local Thorntons shop recently and saw bags of their Special Toffee being sold off for a sensationally cheap 20p a bag (because they were only a few days inside their best before date; they're normally around 80p) I couldn't really resist picking up a couple.
In spite of the description given on this site, these bags - at least the ones I purchased - are not 125 grams in weight; they're a mere 105g. I can't prove this, but I suspect that this is yet another example of the irritating trend to reduce pack sizes rather than increase prices in the (somewhat forlorn) hope that the poor benighted consumer won't notice. I'm afraid I have done so, Thorntons! Still, at the price I paid I shan't complain too much.
The pack design is a pleasantly understated collection of light browns. It's not the same as the one shown here (the "Thorntons" logo is now at the bottom, and the handwriting has gone) but the colour scheme is still close enough that you'd probably recognise it even if didn't say "Special Toffee" in block white lettering on the front! This particular product has been made for more than 80 years now, having started life back in 1925, so Thorntons must be doing something right!
For a change, the back of the pack actually contains some interesting material. For example, the fact that the toffee pieces tend to clump together inside is explained as being a consequence of the decision not to use any emulsifiers or stablisers; you can sort this out very simply, by tapping the bag before opening. The nutrition information contains no real surprises: this is clearly not a product for anyone who has to worry about sugar or milk intake. A theoretical serving of a quarter-bag (that little?) provides 136 kcal, 12.4g of sugars and 5.4g of saturated fat: again, this is not a health food, so no complaints please! This toffee is vegetarian (though obviously not vegan!) and it is also gluten-free, which is much to be welcomed.
On opening the bag you are met by an extremely appetising buttery aroma (and I of all people should approve of that!) which is combined with the characteristic smell of condensed milk that all traditional toffee should show. The toffee chunks inside are of widely differing size, rather than being standardised to within an inch of their life; I approve of this and think it gives this toffee a nice hint of the really old-fashioned type of slabs that are broken with an actual toffee hammer.
Once you've unstuck the chunks and popped one into your mouth... well, it's fantastic: there's heaps of butter and cream in there, which quickly spreads all around your mouth. Very, very sweet, yes, but if you expected a product making heavy use of condensed milk to result in anything else then you really need to take a reality check! The toffee is of a very good consistency, being hard - but, importantly, not rock-like - at first, but softening progressively after a few chews to something more akin to hardish caramel.
When you've finished, and assuming you can resist the immense temptation to have just one more piece... or two... or three, the aftertaste lingers for a short time, especially right down in your throat. At this point there's a slight hint of something that might almost be called spiciness in the flavour, something which is not evident while the toffee is still in your mouth but which provides an interesting counterpoint to the intense sweetness that went before.
I was very, very happy with this toffee, and only wish that it was so cheap all the time: I'd be back like a shot. Even at its usual price I think these things are very worthy of serious consideration, and while nothing can ever quite beat sweets from a genuine local sweetshop (something I am lucky to have near me) by the standards of large-scale manufacturers Thorntons have done a a sterling job here. Highly recommended!
Summary: A toffee-lover's delight