Image for article titled Saltwater Taffy Is My Favorite Food Misnomer

Picture: Michelle Patrick (Shutterstock)

Nothing screams summer season like pulling a piece of saltwater taffy out of your everlasting retainer. Sticky although it might be, saltwater taffy is an unmatched seasonal deal with that stirs up summertime nostalgia from coast to coast. But it surely seems that saltwater taffy doesn’t really include, uh, salt water. A minimum of, not in the best way you may anticipate.

The historical past of saltwater taffy

Per Britannica, saltwater taffy originated on the east coast, doubtless within the Atlantic Metropolis space. It’s unclear precisely when taffy was invented, although numerous confectioners have laid declare to the unique recipe. One sweet firm credits an Enoch James with the recipe; another report cites a person named Joseph Rowling. Regardless, taffy gained steam as a boardwalk product within the late 1800s.

The recipe hasn’t modified a lot, if in any respect, since then. Taffy continues to be made by combining a combination of sugar, corn syrup, butter, cornstarch, flavoring, and coloring; after cooking, the combination is cooled and stretched to create a gentle, aerated product. The recipe does additionally name for salt and water—but it surely doesn’t name for seawater because the title may counsel. Prepared for some taffy trivia? Seems that the title “saltwater taffy” originated as a joke.

Britannica explains that the joke started in 1883, when an ocean swell flooded a boardwalk trinket store. When the shopkeeper found the mess, he realized that each one of his wares—taffy included—had been positively soaked in seawater. Legend has it {that a} younger woman stopped by for some taffy shortly after; at that time, the shopkeeper provided her some “saltwater taffy.”

There you might have it: an old-timey joke befitting an old-timey product. In truth, a few of right now’s best-known taffy purveyors nonetheless use the previous strategies. (Here’s a great video of an Ocean Metropolis confectioner utilizing a rickety previous taffy pull to stretch the product.) In the event you’re itching for a style of the shore, may I counsel gathering your strongest associates and internet hosting an old school taffy pull? They are saying sweet tastes sweeter when it’s important to work for it.


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