Soft and chewy, taffy is a candy made with sugar, butter and various flavorings. Its supple consistency is achieved by twisting and pulling the candy as it cools into long, pliable strands, which are then usually cut into bite-size chunks. The famous saltwater taffy, made popular in the late 1800s in Atlantic City, was so named because it used a small amount of salt water in the mixture. Today's saltwater taffy doesn't necessarily follow tradition. See also toffee.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.