May 23rd was made for mouth-watering deliciousness. It’s National Taffy Day! Taffy candy has been made and sold for many years and has become a favorite souvenir of many vacationers.
- Salt water taffy in was invented 1883 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
- today is also Lucky Penny Day, it was also one of the penny candies that once could be bought for a cent.
- Many manufacturers claim David Bradley was one of the first sellers of the candy. A huge storm hit Atlantic City and flooded the boardwalk. Bradley’s store was flooded and the ocean water soaked his entire stock of taffy. In one account, a young girl asked if the store still had taffy for sale. Bradley jokingly told the girl to grab some “salt water taffy.”
- Here’s another explanation: it’s probably due to the proximity of the water to the boardwalk. That fact was used as an early marketing tactic: Joseph Fralinger, known for popularizing taffy, sold “salt water taffy” to sunbathers and tourists as a souvenir (early correspondence from Fralinger refers to the taffy as “Ocean Wave,” “Sea Foam” and eventually “Salt Water Taffy”).
- Consider it “public domain”: In the 1920s “original” salt water taffy was trademarked by John R. Edmiston, who immediately asked the larger taffy companies to share in their profits thanks to the trademark. He was, of course, sued. In 1923 the Supreme Court ruled that the taffy had been around too long and used by too many people to provide royalties.
- Modern technology allows confectioners to produce 1,000 pieces of taffy a minute.
- In one hour enough pieces of taffy are made to cover one third of the length of Atlantic City (about 1.3 miles).
- The three most popular taffy flavors sold by Sweet Candy Company are peppermint, cinnamon and chocolate.
- Many of the most famous taffy makers still use the same pulling process that dates back over 100 years!
- Taffy Pulls were a Party! Back in the 19th century, one of the most popular type of parties were called candypulls. The entire social event was centered around creating taffy candies by boiling molasses or sugar and then having two people pull on it. Taffy pulls were all the rage at birthday parties or even as a reward for school groups or churches. Everyone loved creating their own candy and putting in some elbow grease to make it.
- Did you know that two of the best known salt water taffy makers in Atlantic City, New Jersey set aside their rivalry and teamed up to ship taffy overseas to the armed forces during World War II? The leading candy companies on the boardwalk at the time were Fralinger’s and James’ and they made it their mission to do what they could to help the troops get through the war
- Frank Sinatra holds the record for the largest single mail order: more than 500 boxes of James’s taffy went to his friends and relatives the morning after his first performance at Resorts International in 1978. But not everyone is a fan: In 1979, both Resorts and Caesars casinos offered bused-in gamblers a choice of a souvenir box of saltwater taffy or $5 in quarters. Nearly all the gamblers took the money.
- In 1993, Arthur Gager III, a Fralinger descendant, wanted to celebrate the 100th anniversary of saltwater taffy on the Boardwalk, with the world’s longest outdoor taffy pull. But unfortunately, hot sun and muggy humidity reduced the taffy to a gooey mess.
- Turkish taffy was a candy bar that was similar to taffy and came in a variety of flavors. It was made at a factory in Coney Island and sold at a Coney Island amusement park. Made of egg whites and corn syrup, the family that manufactured the taffy emigrated from Turkey.
- When Topps baseball cards were first introduced in 1951, taffy was included in the pack. Unfortunately, cards’ varnish tainted the taffy, so Topps later switched to gum.