Nugget of Knowledge: Salt water taffy origin

Flooded candy store led to the name


Why is the candy called salt water taffy?

Is there any salt water in it?

It is made of sugar, corn syrup, water, cornstarch, butter and salt.

Legend says that in 1883, a storm hit Atlantic City.

The boardwalk at the time was smaller and lower than it is today and it easily flooded.

Sea water got into several businesses, including a candy shop owned by David Bradley.

When a young girl came in to the shop to buy some taffy after the storm, Bradley looked around his soggy store and told her all he had was “salt water taffy.”

The girl didn’t understand the sarcasm, she bought some and went on her way.

She told her friends about it, and within days people were coming into the shop asking for, “salt water taffy, or ocean wave taffy and sea foam candy.”

Other vendors picked up on it and candy makers in other coastal towns from Florida to Massachusetts began turning out saltwater taffy.

By the 1920’s it was big business.

One company tried to trademark the name…but the U.S. Supreme Court said no.

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