The Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking Exploratorium
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Why do you pull taffy?

The final important step in making taffy is pulling it: Stretching it out and folding it in half, then stretching and folding again, over and over, until you may reach the point of exhaustion.

Good exercise—but what does it do for the candy? As it turns out, pulling taffy aerates it, or incorporates many tiny air bubbles throughout the candy. This makes it lighter and chewier.

Taffy isn’t the only candy out there that gets pulled this way. We saw molten lollipop pulled by a machine at a local lollipop factory. In this case, the air bubbles added by pulling were to make the candy less rock hard and more brittle.

Is there salt water in saltwater taffy?

Actually, no. There is salt—and water—in saltwater taffy. But it isn’t made with ocean water, despite the fact that it’s so widely available at seaside vacation spots.

So how did saltwater taffy come to be? One story holds that a seaside candy store was flooded by a storm and the resulting saltwater-logged taffy was discovered to be delicious. However, this story is probably apocryphal.


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