A New Jersey Assembly committee approved a bill today that would make salt water taffy the state candy.
It may be a surprise to you that salt water taffy doesn't actually contain any salt water. Legend has it, the candy received its name by accident. A young candy merchant opened a taffy stand on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the 1880s, just steps above sea level. One night, a generous tide soaked his stand and his candy.
"And the next morning, a little girl came up to his taffy stand and said, 'Sir, can I have a piece of that salt water taffy?', and the name stuck," said Lisa Glaser Whitley.
She's the executive vice president of sales and marketing at James Candy Company and Fralinger's, the first and largest maker of salt water taffy in New Jersey since 1885. Whitley said it just makes sense to designate it the state candy.
"Well I think it's so much fun," she said. "I mean, why not, given the history of salt water taffy and it having originated here in New Jersey on the Atlantic City boardwalk."
Assemblyman John Wisniewski introduced the measure based on the suggestion of a group of fifth graders. They said making salt water taffy the state candy would attract more visitors to New Jersey's boardwalks.
The bill now goes to the full Assembly.