THE ACCIDENTAL TAFFY
Legend has it that Salt Water Taffy received its name by accident. A young candy merchant, opened a taffy stand on the first Atlantic City Boardwalk - then just two steps above sea level. One night a generous tide brought in a lively surf which sprayed sea foam over his establishment and dampened his stock of candy. The next morning, the merchant was dismayed to find his merchandise wet and responded to a girl's request for taffy with a sarcastic but witty, "you mean Salt Water Taffy." The name, stuck!
FROM FISH MERCHANT TO CANDY MAKER
At the same time Joseph Fralinger, a former glassblower and fish merchant, opened a retail store on the Boardwalk. Within a year, Fralinger had added a taffy concession and spent the winter perfecting the Salt Water Taffy formula, first using molasses, then chocolate and vanilla, eventually reaching 25 flavors
As Fralinger's grew to six locations, he decided that Salt Water Taffy should return home with resort visitors. Using experience from his fish merchant days, he packed one pound oyster boxes with Salt Water Taffy, making it the first "Atlantic City Souvenir." The one pound box still remains the most popular souvenir almost 125 years later. By 1899 Salt Water Taffy had become a household word across America!
PULLING THE HISTORY TOGETHER
Meanwhile, confectioner Enoch James and his sons claim to have been making Salt Water Taffy before they introduced it on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the 1880's. After many years of working for large candy companies throughout the country, Mr. James brought his family to Atlantic City to sell their "original" Salt Water Taffy.
Enoch James developed a high quality recipe that would not pull out one's teeth. He also eliminated the stickiness that made the taffy and its wrapper inseparable. The result was a smooth, rich, wholesome taffy available in a variety of flavors and a new "Cut-to-fit-the-mouth" shape. The James' product line soon extended to chocolate dipped Salt Water Taffy, filled centers, chocolate taffy pops, macaroons and boardwalk fudge. Enoch James' packaged his confections in seashore novelties such as the "barrel" and "satchel" that are still popular today.
THE MOST FAMOUS NAMES IN SALT WATER TAFFY
Whoever was the originator of Salt Water Taffy, Enoch James' and Joseph Fralinger's original recipes and excellence in candy making have been preserved through the sands of time. Although Salt Water Taffy may have gotten its name by "accident," the millions who enjoy Salt Water Taffy from James' and Fralinger's, can attest that our quality is no accident!
We still make all of our candy the old-fashioned way using the original recipes and finest ingredients. As a fifth generation family-owned business, we're proud to continue the candy making tradition began by James' and Fralinger's.
Check out our online store for a full line of Jame's and Fralinger's Candies.