A legislative committee today approved a bill to make salt water taffy the state's official candy after some 5th-graders from Sayreville made a presentation. Listen to the students read the bill

Students and staff at a hearing about designating taffy as the state candy (Assembly Democrats)

Students from Sayreville's Samsel Upper Elementary School appeared before the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee Assembly committee with Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) who  introduced the measure at the students' request.

“Atlantic City is the birthplace of salt water taffy,” said Assemblyman Mazzeo (D-Atlantic).  “I am proud to join with the students who originated the suggestion that it be designated New Jersey’s state candy.”

The soft taffy, which does not contain salt water, became popular as a souvenir in Atlantic City in the late 19th Century. Legends states that it was created at the end of the 19th Century when a storm damaged taffy at a stand run by David Bradley on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Before the hearing, student Brodie Gallagher told the Asbury Park Press he would dress as Bradley, complete with a handlebar mustache and suspenders.

“I think salt water taffy should be our state candy because we did a lot of research last year and found salt water taffy is a big part of the Jersey Shore,” Gallagher told the newspaper.

The bill came from a lesson on state government and history. Their research, according to the Asbury Park Press, turned up that the state did not have an official candy. Wisniewski visited the class and agreed to sponsor the bill.

Von Hoten Candies in Seaside Heights donated salt water taffy for the students to bring to the hearing.

No date for a vote on the vote has been set.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.