Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Candy By the Sea

A trip to the seashore would not be complete without buying some salt water taffy. This bite-sized, salty-sweet little morsel remains popular today among children and adults alike. While in Kennebunkport, we visited the “Candy Man” a small store with a tempting selection of homemade chocolates, fudge, penny candy, salt water taffy, and gifts representing all things Maine. It was the taffy I was after. With flavors like candy corn, tropical punch, key lime pie, blueberry, root beer, and the traditional flavors (orange, strawberry, chocolate, cherry, vanilla, etc.), I could not resist filling up my bag.

So does salt water taffy contain salt water? No, but, this chewy candy does have ties to salt water and salt and water are ingredients. The legend of how salt water taffy got its name is disputed. But one of the most popular stories is that a New Jersey shop owner (David Bradley) had his store flooded with salt water during a strong storm in 1883. A little girl came into the store after the storm to buy some taffy and, jokingly, Bradley said he could offer her some “salt water taffy.” Although he got a chuckle out of this sale, the girl was delighted and Bradley’s mother who was in the shop at the time liked the name so much that the taffy became known as salt water taffy.

The candy did not become popular until Joseph Fralinger decided to box his candy and sell it on the Atlantic City boardwalk as a souvenir. He filled 200 boxes with the slender, finger-sized logs of taffy and set out to sell it on a Saturday night. By Sunday morning he had sold out his entire supply. His competitors took notice and soon others were selling salt water taffy. Fralinger's business still exists today and is one of the biggest suppliers of salt water taffy on the Jersey Shore.
The base ingredients for taffy are sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, glycerine, water, butter, salt, flavor, and food color. After the base ingredients are melted down in a pot, flavoring and coloring is added, then the mixture is cooled. Once cool enough to handle, the taffy is pulled. Pulling the taffy stretches it and adds air which gives provides that light, chewy texture. While there are many recipes online, I prefer to get mine from the store. After all, I don’t know where to buy candy corn flavoring.

Doesn't this make you hungry?  Lobster and salt water taffy.....yum!
Traditionally, taffy was packaged as long, thin pieces.

1 comment:

  1. I have always loved salt water taffy.


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