The origin of salt water taffy is the scrumptious candy that brings back memories of summer vacations at the beach. It’s a delicious treat that can be found in many different forms including chewy bars and sweet hard candy sticks. It’s easy to see why this treat has become an iconic American candy! The exact origins of this beloved confection are a bit unclear, but most agree that it was invented in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It’s most often associated with boardwalks in both the United States and Canada.
Sticky Origins: The Sweet History of Salt Water Taffy”
One story goes that in 1883, a storm caused a large ocean swell that flooded a candy store on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The owner, David Bradley, was cleaning up his shop when a little girl came in asking for taffy. He joked with her and said that he had some “salt water taffy” that she could take to the beach to share with her friends. Her mother overheard the exchange and loved the name, so it stuck!
As the popularity of salt water taffy grew, more and more confectioners began to make it. Many of these stores offered the chance to watch taffy being pulled by their employees, creating an experience that was sure to capture people’s attention and imaginations. Nowadays, the process is more likely to be done by machine than by hand, though some artisanal manufacturers still use the old-fashioned way. While the ingredients in salt water taffy may vary slightly between brands, they all contain sugar, corn syrup, butter, cornstarch, and various flavors. As for the salt, it is added to give the taffy its signature flavor, but only in small amounts.