A good friend of mine gave me Almond Roca the other day, you know the familiar Toffee candies in the pink container?
I remember as a kid, I always thought this was an “old person” candy for some reason, but now I love the stuff. Does that mean I’M getting old? It must be the mix of sweet and bitter that appeals to the older-crowd perhaps (and me). I realized after the can was empty and I was trying to decide if it was recyclable or not, that I didn’t know who made Almond Roca. So I delved into the pink and read the can. Brown and Haley, since 1912. Wow. So I visted the Brown and Haley website.
Here’s the background from their website on this, one of my latest favorite candies, Almond Roca:
ALMOND ROCAÂ® comes to you with a history as flavorful as its fresh almonds, and as rich as its buttercrunch toffee. It all started back in 1923 in Tacoma, Washington. Harry Brown developed a recipe for the crunchy log-shaped candy destined to become a worldwide favorite. J.C. Haley wanted an unusual name to go with the new almond confection they had invented. A local librarian suggested “roca”, and ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee was born. In Spanish, the word “roca” (pronounced Roe-ka) means “rock”, which seemed appropriate given the crunchy center.
After 5 billion pieces and 5 billion smiles, “Roca” has taken on a new, universal meaning: fresh – and – lively – crunchy – chewy – taste – sensational – buttery – chocolaty – delight.
The product was an immediate success, but some method had to be found to protect all that fresh, buttery goodness. In 1927 ALMOND ROCAÂ® confection became the first candy in the world to be put in a sealed tin. After all, JC. Haley reasoned, if tins could keep coffee fresh they could certainly do the same for ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee. And if a regular tin could do the job, imagine what a pink tin could do!
The confection emerged from being a well-kept secret of the Pacific Northwest during World War II. Since it was packed in air-tight tins, it could be shipped to the troops overseas and remain fresh. It became so popular that an entire chapter was dedicated to the crunchy morsels in the Official History of World War II. In one memorable event, American generals would not turn over responsibility for an occupied country to other Allies until three railroad cars of ALMOND ROCAÂ® confection could be taken with them.
ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee has traveled around the world ever since. It has been shipped to more than 63 markets over the past 80 years. Sir Edmund Hillary packed it to the top of the world on many of his Himalayan ascents. It’s one of the favorite candies of Japan’s royal family. It’s also a market leader for imported gift confections in many markets from Asia to the Middle East, including Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. Today, ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee can be found on retail shelves in over 35 countries on six continents.
Today, nine decades and three generations of Haleys later, ALMOND ROCAÂ® buttercrunch toffee is still being made with the same care in the same factory where it all started. The factory has become a historic landmark and the candy has earned the title of “America’s Finest ConfectionÂ®.”
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!