History of Taffy Pulling

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Taffy is a chewy, often fruity candy sold in candy stores, boardwalks, grocery stores and more throughout the world.

taffy_pulling.jpgTaffy is made stretching sugar, flavoring and coloring until it becomes fluffy. The candy is then wrapped--usually in wax paper--and sold in stores.

Popular taffy brands include Starburst and Laffy Taffy, but an even more popular derivative is salt water taffy which is often sold at coastal towns across the world.

As the story goes, an Atlantic City candy store flooded with ocean water in 1889. His entire store was flooded. When a girl came in asking for taffy, the storeowner, David Bradley, said as a joke that all he had was "salt water taffy." The girl was thrilled, showed all her friends and the candy took off from there.

Taffy mogul Jospeh Fralinger capitalized on the innovation when he overheard conversation's outside Bradley's salt water taffy stand. Fralinger boxed it and made the novelty an Atlantic City boardwalk souvenir.

Candy maker Enoch James then rounded out what we know as modern day taffy by cutting the candy into bite-sized pieces.

Taffy comes in dozens of flavors from fruity to savory to salty. In addition to these flavorings, taffy is made of sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, water, butter, salt and coloring.

The process of creating taffy was originally a spectacle for early boardwalk patrons. After all the ingredients are heated, the taffy is pulled in long five or six foot slabs to cool and add oxygen.

Although taffy began as a boardwalk novelty and is often found in candy stores, there are recipes to make the candy at home.

Taffy Recipe

To make taffy you'll need:

Two cups sugar;
Two tablespoons cornstarch;
One cup light corn syrup;
¾ cups water;
Two tablespoons butter;
One teaspoon salt;
One teaspoon flavoring of your choice;
Three drops food coloring

Mix together the cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan. Stir in the corn syrup, water, butter and salt and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Continue stirring until the mixture reaches a boil. When the mixture reaches 270 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pan from the heat and add flavoring and coloring. Pour the mixture onto a marble slab or greased cookie tray so it can cool.

Then, pull the taffy for ten minutes, roll it into a long rope and cut it in inch-long pieces.

Then sit back and enjoy your taffy! You can wrap it in wax paper for an authentic feel--it'll also help the taffy stay longer.