Taffy is one of the most beloved childhood treats. It has that irresistible chewiness that makes you want to keep going and going until your jaw hurts. Even adults enjoy taffy. But what makes some taffy better than others?
Know your candy
If you are not familiar with the candies you are buying, you are setting yourself up to be disappointed. Saltwater taffy is a soft candy made from corn syrup and sometimes gelatin. An American invention, taffy is a chewy treat that comes in various flavors. It is made by stretching the candy until it becomes elastic, which gives the candy its signature texture.
Industrial commercial taffy is often made by machines using cheap and artificial ingredients. This often results in dull-tasting candy. The best taffy is usually the kind made by hand in smaller batches.
Choose your source carefully
Ideally, you’ll find taffy made in your local area. This way, you can be aware of its freshness and ingredients. If you shop for small businesses, it’s also a great way to support your community! You can also order online from a place that regularly has fresh inventory. Avoid mass-produced corporate-branded candy. Instead, look for indie shops that have a small brick-and-mortar presence.
Be aware of allergy concerns
Many candies are made from nuts, which is a common allergen. Even if the candy you’re ordering is nut-free, it could be produced with the same equipment that processes nuts. Other common allergens in taffy-making include soy, milk, and food dyes. When in doubt, ask the seller before you buy.
Freshness is key
Taffy will stay fresh longer than most other candies. Still, it’s best to eat it within two weeks of purchase. Taffy should be pliable and sticky but not tacky or gooey. It should have a rich flavor and aroma.
High-quality taffy has a unique texture that separates it from other chewy candies. When eaten, it should slide down your throat rather than stick to your teeth as caramel or fudge would. This sensation is caused by air pockets formed during the stretching process that can’t be replicated in mass-produced candy.
Finding high-quality saltwater taffy can be difficult. To make the search easier, follow these tips. Remember to look for taffy that’s handmade locally with natural ingredients. You’re sure to find the taffy you crave with a bit of diligence.