New Jersey’s Salt Water Taffy Obsession Now Almost 200 Years Strong
Happy National Taffy Day!
We couldn't let the day go by without the mention of one of the region's most beloved candies, salt water taffy. It's a boardwalk staple all along the Jersey coastline!
If you know anything about boardwalk traditions here in South Jersey, then you know both locals and shoobies alike can't complete a beach trip without stopping at one of the local candy or fudge shops for some salt water taffy. Whether or not you like the taste of it is pretty irrelevant, honestly. You just HAVE to pick some up because you're basically in the birthplace of that candy!
The only reason we refer to it as "salt water taffy" at the Jersey Shore is because of one man whose story was shared to a local Facebook group a few years back and has since been shared all over the internet. His name was David Bradley. Bradley reportedly owned a candy shop at St. James Place in Atlantic City. There was an awful storm one night and the taffy that Bradley had left in the store for the next day got soaked in some waves from the storm. He, apparently, just rinsed off the candy and labeled it "salt water taffy." The new branding worked because he sold out of the "damaged" candy and renamed all of his taffy "salt water taffy" forevermore.
Obviously, the name took off since every retailer sells the candy as such these days. Salt water taffy started at the shore and is now known by that name to people all over the country. How crazy is it that the first batch was "made" in Atlantic City?! Accident or not, it's now a permanent boardwalk staple and has been for 138 years!