Push to Make Salt Water Taffy NJ’s State Candy

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -
Salt water taffy displayed Thursday at a taffy shop in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Salt water taffy displayed Thursday at a taffy shop in Atlantic City. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

New Jersey has an official state bird (the goldfinch), flower (the common violet), tree (the red oak), fish (the brook trout), folk dance (the square dance) and bug (the honeybee). One lawmaker reckons that what New Jersey needs now is an official state candy.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski is pushing a bill to honor salt water taffy with the designation. He introduced it after meeting with students at Sayreville’s Samsel Upper Elementary School for a lesson on how a bill becomes law. The measure cleared an Assembly committee on Thursday.

Wisniewski had asked the students to come up with something that deserved to become a law. They wanted to name an official state candy and chose salt water taffy, which was invented in Atlantic City as a popular souvenir of a trip to the shore in the late 19th century. (The sugar-laden confection does not actually contain any salt water.)

Testifying Thursday before the Assembly tourism committee in Trenton, fifth-grader Tyler Graham said designating an official state candy can help boost tourism at the Jersey shore in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to give citizens a reason to come to the shore and purchase the official state candy?” he asked.

The bill now goes to the full Assembly.