Salt water taffy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Salt Water Taffy
Salt water taffy.jpg
Salt water taffy with a U.S. quarter for scale
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateAtlantic City, New Jersey
Main ingredientssugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, glycerine, water, butter, salt, flavoring, food coloring

Salt water taffy is a variety of soft taffy originally produced and marketed in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area of the Jersey Shore starting in the 1880s.[1]


The original invention of the candy has several different stories circulating, likely all apocryphal. One relates to an assistant who substituted fresh water with sea water—either through laziness or accident.[citation needed] Another cites a storm which caused ocean water to wash over the candy, which was consequently (and successfully) marketed with the appropriate name.[2] Joseph Fralinger popularized the candy by boxing it and selling it in Atlantic City. Fralinger's first major competition came from candy maker Enoch James, who refined the recipe, making it less sticky and easier to unwrap. James also cut the candy into bite-sized pieces, and is credited with mechanizing the "pulling" process. The candy was also sold mail order; in 1926 sheet music was commissioned by James with the title "Send Home Some Taffy Today!"/ [3] Both Fralinger's and James's stores still operate on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Both companies have been owned and operated by the Glaser family since 1947.[4][5]

On August 21, 1923, John Edmiston obtained a trademark for the name "salt water taffy" (number 172,016), then demanded royalties from companies using his newly acquired name. He was sued over this demand, and in 1925, the trademark was invalidated as being in common use.

Salt water taffy is still sold widely on the boardwalks in Atlantic City (including shops in existence since the 1800s),[6] nearby island Ocean City, and other popular beaches throughout the United States, especially Cape Cod, and Atlantic Canada, as well as in Salt Lake City, Utah. Taffy is also distributed throughout the U.S. to some specialty shops and markets, and other places where an especially wide and diverse variety of candy is sold. It is also available for mail order through Internet sources.


Salt water taffy is composed of sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, glycerine, water, butter, salt, natural and/or artificial flavor, and food color. Some examples of flavoring include vanilla, lemon, maple, banana, red licorice, watermelon, raspberry or mint extracts.[7] Despite its name, the taffy contains no salt water (seawater), but does contain both salt and water.

Salt water taffy in a candy store in Portland, Oregon
Salt water taffy stretching and wrapping machines

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Genovese, Peter. "Chew on this: 125 years later, Jersey Shore still daffy over salt water taffy" in The Newark Star Ledger, August 19, 2013
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Shop Fralinger's Candy – James Candy Company".[dead link]
  5. ^
  6. ^ Sharkey, Joe (November 11, 2001), "Traces of the place at high tide", The New York Times, retrieved 2011-06-25
  7. ^ recipe: Saltwater Taffy. Exploratorium, San Francisco, California, USA