Remember, remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder treason and plot.

We see no reason

Why this is the season

That candy should be forgot!


Halloween has been and gone, and that probably means you’re all tuckered out from gorging on unholy amounts of chocolate, sweets, and other confectionary goodness. But alas, the time of the sweet-tooth is not quite over, for we have another little holiday coming up, and it too wants to satisfy all our sugary needs. Yes, Bonfire Night may be an annual celebration of failed treason, but really it’s just another excuse to eat yummy food.

The essential ingredient to a successful Bonfire Night is of course Bonfire Toffee. Dating back hundreds of years, these little chunks of treacly delight have now secured their place in British candy culture. In ye olden days, roughly the late 1600s, treacle was actually considered medicinal, therefore very expensive and not exactly available as a snack or dessert. Even when the industrial manufacturing of confectionary began in the 1840s, the price of black treacle was too substantial for most people to buy. This lead to Bonfire Toffee becoming more of a homemade confectionary, and it became somewhat of a tradition in the 1900s for elderly people in a community to make Bonfire Toffee and hand it out to children on Bonfire Night. Today, with our more stable economy (yep, that’s a joke), Bonfire Toffee is more readily available: as well as being homemade, it is available year-round in speciality sweet-shops. It should be no real trouble or expense to get a hold of some in time for Bonfire Night. However, despite the obvious fact that they share a name, it is unclear exactly why Bonfire toffee is associated with Bonfire night. Maybe Guy Fawkes was partial to a spot of solidified treacle before he went out on his gun-powder escapades. Who knows?

But of course your choice of firework confectionary isn’t just limited to burning treacle. On a night when you’re freezing despite the huge roaring fire, when you’re watching the bloody sky explode, when the dog is going crazy at all the loud noises and there is no foreseeable end to the cacophony of explosions… anything goes! Toffee Apples… why not? Gummy bears? Don’t mind if I do! Lollipops, laces and liquorice? Yes, yes to all! You see, when our boots are caked in cold mud and we’re having a mini heart attack every time a firework goes bang, it is well within our rights to warm our souls with something nice, something sweet. Be it toffee, chocolate or pop, the world is your sugary (or sugar-free) oyster. Thanks, Mr. Fawkes!

By Jack Brooks

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