Believe it or not, some people think Salt Water Taffy is really made from a process using sea water, hence the name “Salt Water Taffy”. The grain of truth is that it does take water and salt to make the taffy, but no seawater is used in the process. Thankfully!
Fun Fact: Back in the 1880s you could get a bag of soft taffy for 5 cents. Try paying that for taffy now!
Today salt water taffy is still popular in several beach resorts, including Ocean City, MD. Although you can order it online, salt water taffy is just one of those things that are much more enjoyable when bought off the boardwalk. So it’s no surprise Ocean City tourists are always on the hunt for some salt water taffy when they come on vacation.
So where did salt water taffy get its name?
There’s a legend that in 1888, a man named David Bradley had a candy shop which got flooded during a storm. As a result his soft taffy got soaked in ocean salt water. A young girl came in his shop asking for taffy and he joked about only having salt water taffy. To his surprise, she was more than happy to buy the saltwater taffy! So they decided to sell the taffy as salt water taffy…and the rest, as they say, is history.
Others believe the more logical of the theories: that salt water taffy got its name simply because it was sold near the ocean. I personally think the former makes for a better story.
What will you tell your kids next time you’re on the Ocean City Boardwalk buying salt water taffy?
By the way, if you’re wondering where to find salt water taffy in Ocean City, MD try out Dolle’s Candyland, Candy Kitchen, or Wockenfuss Candies (not named in any particular order).