Exposed: The Truth Behind Salt Water Taffy!
If you thought salt water was an ingredient in salt water taffy, you'd be wrong!
Salt water taffy is one of those candy treats that always brings me right back to my childhood at Hampton Beach.
Whenever we would stay at the beach, the Sweet Shop was always one of the very first stops we'd make on the boulevard. (Unfortunately, the Sweet Shop is no longer. It, along with several other businesses including another childhood favorite, Happy Hampton Arcade were destroyed by fire in Feb. 2010)
But, did you know the individual wrapped pieces of gooey goodness do NOT contain salt water?
It's not exactly clear how the candy got it's deceiving name, however according to Mental Floss, the name originated at the Jersey Shore in 1883:
A storm hit Atlantic City. The boardwalk at the time was smaller and lower than it is today. During the storm, waves easily cleared the boardwalk and flooded several businesses with sea water, 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 jokingly told her all he had was “salt water taffy.” Not understanding the sarcasm, she bought some and went on her way. Bradley’s mom overheard the exchange and suggested that the name was catchy and that Bradley keep calling it salt water taffy.
This video shows a machine much like the one that used to be in the window of the Sweet Shop.