Proposal Originated as Civics Lesson in Sayreville’s Samsel Upper Elementary School
(TRENTON) – The full Assembly approved on Monday legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John S. Wisniewski, Vincent Mazzeo, Gabriela Mosquera and Benjie Wimberly to designate salt water taffy as New Jersey’s State Candy. The legislation (A-1715), was introduced at the request of fifth grade students from the Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville following a presentation Assemblyman Wisniewski made to the students on how a bill becomes a law.
“The story of salt water taffy’s creation is a part of New Jersey lore,” said Assemblyman Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “I commend the Samsel Upper Elementary School students for the creative way they have taken their civics lesson and made it real with their suggestion to introduce this bill.”
“Atlantic City is the birthplace of salt water taffy,” added 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.”
“I want to commend the teachers and students who, by their actions, are demonstrating to students all across our state the power of citizenship,” said Assemblywoman Mosquera (D- Camden, Gloucester). “Salt water taffy is a product of South Jersey and I am proud to join them in support of it being named our state candy.”
“The New Jersey General Assembly is the people’s house and I am proud to join with the students of Samsel Upper Elementary School in their quest to have salt water taffy designated New Jersey’s state candy,” added Assemblyman Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Today’s vote in favor of the bill is a powerful lesson in democracy for all students in our state.”
According to local legend, the treat was created after salt water from a storm damaged the taffy supply of Atlantic City candy maker David Bradley, who, at the request of a customer, sold the first salt water taffy and made the accidental creation a household name. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, with the development of shore communities, confectioners Enoch James,
Joseph Fralinger, and William Shriver founded the world-famous James Candy Company, Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy, and Shriver’s. As New Jersey is the home and birthplace of salt water taffy, it serves as an ideal symbol for the official State candy.
The bill was approved 61-7-9 in an afternoon Assembly session.