Salt Water Taffy is truly the perfect candy. Not too hard, not too soft, and just the right taste no matter the flavor. But, have you ever wondered why it is called Salt Water Taffy?
Contrary to popular belief, Salt Water Taffy contains almost no salt or water, and, certainly not from the ocean. According to legend, the name arose as a result of a violent storm in 1883 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. During the 19th century, Atlantic City experienced a rapid growth period, in which multiple businesses soon dotted the crowded shoreline. By 1870, the first boardwalk was constructed to help the flow of foot traffic as well as to keep sand out of the numerous shops and hotels. This boardwalk was much lower and smaller than it is today and was nearly ineffective in hard storms. During one such storm in 1883, a local candy shop owned by David Bradley was flooded to the rim with sea water, soaking his entire supply of sweets. The next day, a young girl came to the shop to buy some taffy, to which David Bradley jokingly replied, “all I have is salt water taffy.” To his surprise, the girl bought some anyway and the name stuck.
Whatever the reason for calling it Salt Water Taffy, we are certainly glad that for this legend. It adds a bit of extra flavor to an already flavorful treat, especially in a salty ocean-side town like ours.