VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Sunday, May 23 is National Taffy Day, and local candy makers are celebrating the nostalgic sweet.
Saltwater taffy, which is made from boiled sugar and butter and features swirls of colors and flavors, is a small, bite-size soft candy normally found in traditional candy shops as well as beachside shops.
According to National Day Calendar, an online website featuring made-up holidays, saltwater taffy was invented in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1883. Since then, saltwater taffy has spread all over, eventually reaching Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads.
Forbes Candies, a candy company based in Virginia Beach, has been hard at work making sure there was no shortage of taffy for Sunday.
“It's a nostalgic piece of candy, it's been around for a really long time,” Marty Cochran, the president of Forbes Candies, said. “I think a lot of it, too, is it reminds people of being on vacation. It's always been something you get while you're on vacation."
Contrary to popular belief, saltwater taffy does not have saltwater from the ocean in it. It does, however, have salt and water.
Cochran recalled the first time he tried saltwater while working with Forbes Candies while in high school. He said he was instantly a fan, but mentioned there are people who do not like taffy because they never had “good” taffy.
"If somebody is open enough to try it, then once they have good taffy they're hooked on it," Cochran said. "But we still run across people who have never had taffy."
If you love saltwater taffy or want to try it out for the first time, Cochran said all Forbes Candies stores will offer free samples as well as 20 percent discounts on all saltwater taffy sales.