Taffy is a type of chewy candy that is traditionally made by boiling sugar, butter, or vegetable oil, flavorings, and sometimes coloring, until it reaches a certain consistency. The mixture is then pulled until it becomes aerated (full of tiny air bubbles), which makes it lighter and chewier. This process is known as “pulling taffy” and is essential for achieving the candy’s characteristic texture.


The basic ingredients for taffy include:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Butter or vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Flavorings (such as vanilla, peppermint, fruit extracts)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Making Process

  1. Boiling: The sugar, corn syrup, butter, water, and salt are boiled together until they reach the “soft crack” stage (approximately 270-290°F or 132-143°C).
  2. Cooling: The mixture is poured onto a greased marble slab or a silicone mat to cool slightly.
  3. Pulling: Once it can be handled, the taffy is pulled by hand or with a machine. This process incorporates air into the candy, giving it a smooth, chewy texture.
  4. Shaping and Wrapping: After pulling, the taffy is shaped into long ropes, cut into bite-sized pieces, and wrapped in wax paper to keep it from sticking together.


Taffy comes in many flavors, such as:

  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Banana
  • Grape

There are also regional varieties, with saltwater taffy being a famous type associated with coastal areas, particularly in the United States. Despite its name, saltwater taffy does not contain seawater but may include a small amount of salt.


Taffy has been popular in the United States since the late 19th century. The exact origins are unclear, but it is often associated with seaside resorts where it became a popular treat for vacationers.

Modern Production

Today, taffy is typically made using machines in large quantities, though the pulling process is still essential to achieve the desired texture. Many candy shops, especially in tourist areas, continue to demonstrate taffy pulling to attract customers and showcase the traditional method.

In summary, taffy is a sweet, chewy candy made by boiling sugar and other ingredients, then pulling the mixture to create a light, airy texture. It comes in numerous flavors and remains a popular treat, especially in coastal regions.

Image from Taffy Town