Maple Taffy: To DIY or Not to DIY
In the late 1800s in England and America, taffy pulls or candy pulls were a fun social event, with parties attended by both sexes dressed in their finery. Party goers would gather in warm kitchens with huge copper pots “stewing sugar.” After the candy had cooled enough to prevent blisters, two people would pull the taffy together. If you were the lone flower on the wall with nobody to pull taffy with, some kitchens had special “taffy hooks” for the single, lonely taffy puller.
Farther up north, Canadians were making maple taffy or “tire d’erable” or “tire sur la neige,” translated into “sugar on snow.” Maple sap would be boiled and then poured on snow. Finally it would be lifted with a stick to look like a maple toffee lollipop.
Merge the two traditions and you now have the maple saltwater taffy from Taffy Town that you know and love today!
While you could take the easy, fun route to instant gratification and simply buy a batch of Taffy Town maple taffy today, you could also DIY making your maple taffy with a recipe just like our ancestors did at their parties.
But First! Are You Making Maple Saltwater Taffy or Maple Syrup Taffy?
Vintage salt water maple taffy has corn syrup, glycerin, cornstarch, and other ingredients in the recipe and is pulled. The pulling action introduces air into the candy, making the fluffy and slightly chewy saltwater taffy, similar to the taffy we have here at Taffy Town.
Maple syrup taffy is only maple syrup and water that is boiled with no corn syrup. It is generally not pulled, so the consistency is more like toffee and is more brittle without the fluff. It is either dropped into the snow or into ice cold water after boiling to make a hard ball. In fact, most people were calling toffee “taffy” and that’s how the name stuck!
Maple candy is another different type of candy that is only maple syrup that is boiled and poured into leaf molds. It’s consistency is closer to fudge and people love the sugary goodness.
Why Is Maple Taffy Traditionally Made Through Pulling?
Saltwater taffy is pulled to aerate the candy and make it less brittle. Homemade taffy can sometimes be hard and brittle, whereas professionally pulled taffy is soft and buttery.
To pull taffy, you must wait until the candy cools enough to be handled. Then, both people must butter their hands and work to pull the taffy into long ropes which are folded over and pulled again and again.
Keep pulling the taffy until it becomes too hard to pull and the taffy can be broken on a hard surface. It takes about ten minutes of vigorous pulling to reach this point. Use scissors to snip the taffy into bite-sized chunks and wrap in waxed paper.
Where To Buy Maple Saltwater Taffy
While you can DIY Maple Saltwater Taffy and have a fun time pulling the candy, many people find the homemade version too hard and tough to truly enjoy.
Professionally-made maple saltwater taffy is softer and chewier. Our nougat-style maple taffy incorporates egg whites and milk for an even lighter, softer texture — a delightful taffy candy that simply melts in your mouth.
We are proud to have revolutionized the taffy production process through whipping our taffy rather than pulling it. This “stretch” from tradition allows us to create a richer Maple Taffy that many consider even better than the homemade variety.
While Taffy Town’s Maple Salt Water Taffy is the perfect treat to keep for your own personal snack time, you can buy maple taffy for parties, parades, gifts, and housewarming presents. People love the taste that reminds them of buttery maple syrup drizzled over hot pancakes in the morning, and this taffy is the perfect treat to share.
To buy maple saltwater taffy from Taffy Town, check out your options here.And for an extra-special, salty and sweet treat, try out our maple bacon taffy that blends all the flavors of your favorite breakfast together.