Saltwater taffy is composed of sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, glycerin, water, butter, salt, food coloring and various flavors, natural and synthetic. Contrary to popular belief, the taffy contains no salt water (seawater). It does, however, contain both salt and water, and thus the name as well as the distinct taste and smell. Demeter's Saltwater Taffy, with hints of vanilla and caramel, captures that salty sweetness perfectly.
Legend has it that in 1889 in Atlantic City, candy store owner David Bradley's shop was flooded during a major storm. As a result of the flood, his entire stock of taffy was soaked with salty Atlantic Ocean water. When a young girl came into his shop and asked if he had any taffy for sale, he is said to have offered some "salt water taffy." At the time it was a joke, because all his taffy had been soaked with salt water, but the girl was delighted. She bought the candy and proudly walked down to the beach to show her friends. Bradley's mother was in the back and heard the exchange. She loved the name, and so saltwater taffy was born.
Saltwater Taffy is also a personal creation for me, because when I was a child my grandparents used to bring back Salt Water Taffy every time they went to Atlantic City, which was a regular stop on their itinerary. Somehow the special smell and taste of that taffy is inexorably tied into the loving memories of them.
Mark D. Crames, Demeter CEO