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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

50 Tastes: Saltwater Taffy, New Jersey

Long time, no see! While this one leans more towards the candy side than dessert, it's one of my personal favorites. Especially when it's watermelon flavored! Yup, we're looking at saltwater taffy from... New Jersey?


If you asked me to guess anytime prior to now, I probably would have never expected saltwater taffy to come from New Jersey. Yet another one of the all-American classics, this seaside dessert's name has more to do with the geographical location it originates from rather than what it's actually made of. Yes, salt and water are involved in the candy-making process, but not literal salt water itself. The reason for this is a bit murky. Or more so, is it sticky? When multiple versions of the same story have been told and several taffy makers and companies credited for crafting the "original" saltwater taffy, I think I'd go with the latter.


Old-Fashioned Saltwater Taffy


2/3 cup white corn syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 dram of candy oil flavoring

gel paste food coloring (to preference)


  1. Generously grease a cookie sheet with unsalted butter and set aside

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix all ingredients together and stir until incorporated.

  3. Once the butter has fully melted, insert a candy thermometer and heat the mixture until it reaches 255F. Remove from heat and pour hot liquid into the buttered pan. Let cool to the touch.

  4. Once cooled, lightly butter your hands before removing the taffy from the pan. Pull the candy by repeatedly stretching it into a rope, folding it over, twisting, and repeating over and over until the color changes from translucent to opaque. This will take about 15 minutes.

  5. Pull taffy into a long rope. Butter a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the rope into bite-sized pieces.

  6. Wrap taffy in parchment or wax paper to serve.



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