FYI Philly: Who invented salt water taffy?

ATLANTIC CITY (WPVI) -- It's summer at the shore and beachgoers are surely enjoying some saltwater taffy, but just who invented it is still a sticky debate.

The iconic shore snacks were invented in Atlantic City back in the 1880s, and, as legend holds, it got the name saltwater taffy after a coastal storm soaked a local merchant's supply.

"The next morning when he opened up, a little girl walked up to his booth and said, 'Hey sir can I have a piece of that salt water taffy?' and the name stuck," said Lisa Glaser Whitley, COO of James' Candy Company.

"It was the first seaside resort for the working man and people came down and wanted a treat and a taste of the seashore," she adds.

Entrepreneurs Enoch James and Joseph Fralinger are the most famous names in taffy making and both claim to have invented the original recipe in Atlantic City.

"So these two legendary taffy companies are as old as the boards here in AC," said Whitley.

The James Candy Company keeps the tradition alive by selling and manufacturing both iconic brands.

And to keep them side-by-side, duking it out as they did in the beginning - they let the taffy eaters decide.

The James taffy is "cut-to-fit-the-mouth" while Fralinger's is distinguished by its long shape.

While both brands have whipped up dozens of flavors over the years, Lisa says the classic, originals are still the best sellers like the molasses and teaberry.

Both brands still stay true to their original recipes: sugar, corn syrup and a lot of Jersey love.

FYI Philly airs Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. or Sunday at midnight on 6abc.
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