Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quest for the Best: Sweet’s Salt Water Taffy

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Website: Official Sweet Candy Company site

Price: $3.99 for 8 oz custom mix boxes, or $6.99 to create your own 2.5 lb custom mix bag

My Review: So, I sometimes watch The Food Network when I’m bored or when they’re airing a show that focuses on desserts and candy. Because I REALLY like desserts and candy. So I was all about their new series Kid in a Candy Store, which is basically some guy going around the country to various restaurants, bakeries, and factories to sample and highlight unique and/or quality sweets. The host is kind of annoying, but in the first episode he visited the Treats Truck here in NYC, so obviously the show runners have good taste.

In that same episode he also visited the Sweet Candy Company factory in Salt Lake City, where they make salt water taffy in all kinds of crazy flavors. While talking with a factory manager, she claimed that their recipe makes the taffy less sticky than traditional taffy, and therefore less likely to rip your fillings out while enjoying it. So obviously hearing about taffy that comes in desirable flavors AND that won’t wreck my dental work gave me a serious case of candy envy. I needed that taffy, but I had no desire to go to Salt Lake City to get it (for a number of reasons).

Luckily for me, this is 2010, and anything you could possibly want is never more than a few mouse clicks away. You can order Sweet’s taffy right on their website, in either custom mixes that they put together, or by creating your own custom blend. The shipping cost was a bit steep (around $10 for ground shipping), so I figured if I was going to place an order, I may as well make it count, and I ordered what I assumed was plenty of taffy. But it turned out to be more like a ridiculous ton of taffy. Oops.

Thankfully, taffy doesn’t really go bad (does it?), so I now have a huge bowl of it in my apartment to slowly make my way through. I do find it less sticky than other taffies, and most of the flavors are pretty good. It’s definitely much better than the stuff that comes from Atlantic City (sorry traditionalists). Here’s my scientific breakdown of the flavors:

Old School Mix

Vanilla – Pretty good creamy vanilla flavor, not overly artificial tasting.

Chocolate – Kind of tastes like a Tootsie Roll, which isn’t bad, but kind of bland.

Strawberry – Pretty mild taste, so while not bad, it could use an extra kick of strawberry.

Cinnamon – This is one of my favorites, but I love nearly all things cinnamon (the fact that it’s becoming more and more difficult each year to find bags of cinnamon hearts at Valentine’s Day time is just making an already depressing day even more so). It’s not too hot, but definitely has that cinnamon candy taste to it, and is one of the more flavorful options.

Peppermint – Also a good one, it tastes like a palate-cleansing after-dinner mint. But not gross and gummy, like actual after-dinner mints.

Malt Shop Mix

Banana Split – Needs more banana, less split. There are actually three flavors mashed in here: chocolate, strawberry, and banana. The chocolate is a bit too dominate, the strawberry is barely there, and the banana isn’t banana-y enough, which I found disappointing since banana is my favorite flavor of Laffy Taffy.

Cherry Cola – This one is my absolute favorite. It actually tastes just like cherry cola (which is my favorite soda), and it almost has a fizziness to it. Yum.

Chocolate Shake – This one tastes just like the regular chocolate taffy, which is probably exactly what it is. Adding “Shake” to the title isn’t going to fool me, Sweet Candy Company. I’m a college-educated candy connoisseur, thank you very much.

Root Beer Float – Another good one, though the soda flavor isn’t as spot-on as Cherry Cola.

My Custom Mix

Bubble Gum – I like this one, but it could use more flavor. I was hoping for something really old school bubble-gummy, like Bazooka Joe or Hubba Bubba flavor, but it’s more mild than that.

Watermelon – This is apparently one of Sweet’s biggest sellers, and it’s a got a pretty good watermelon flavor, though I think most of the appeal comes from them making it look like an actual slice of watermelon.

Caramel – Tastes just like a soft caramel chew, and is less sticky than other flavors. One of the better flavors in my bunch.

Caramel Apple – Not bad, but could use more apple. The apple taffy is surrounded by the caramel taffy, so you get more caramel flavor than anything else. I would like this better if it had more of the apple tartness in it.

Red Licorice – I like this one, as it tastes kind of like a Twizzler, but less so. I’d probably like it more if it tasted just like a Twizzler, but then I guess I should just go get a bag of Twizzlers.

Bottom Line: So there you go; more information than you ever cared to know about Sweet’s taffy. If anyone wants to go in on my next order to split shipping costs, let me know. Knowing me and my sugar habits, I’ll probably be ready to order more by next week.


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  2. Mmm, I love salt water taffy candy. I grew up in Wildwood NJ a block away from the boardwalk so I have been eating these my entire life. This one candy shop used to bring them to the house at the end of the day for me. :) The good old days!