A trip to the beach isn’t complete without salt water taffy from a candy store.
But is there salty ocean water in that taffy?

Salt water taffy was first found in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the 19th century in a store on their now-famous boardwalk. Salt water taffy is the sweet treat in dozens of colors that you find in beach towns across the U.S. While you might think that the taffy was made with ocean water, that’s a myth. The story goes that the original candy shop was flooded during a storm, and the salty water soaked the candy. The store repackaged the taffy as salt water taffy to sell it to their customers, and a new name for the sweet confection was born.


Who created the first lollipop?

The history of the lollipop is a bit vague. Some think that lollipops were invented during the American Civil War. Others believe that a version of the lollipop has been around since the early 1800s. What is known is that in 1905, the owner of the McAviney Candy Company may have stumbled upon the lollipop by accident. The company made boiled hard candies that were stirred with a stick, and at day’s end, the owner brought the sticks covered with the candy home for his children to enjoy. It wasn’t until 1908 that he began to market these candy sticks in his store.

In 1908, in Racine, Wisconsin, the first lollipop machine was developed by the Racine Confectionary Company. They created a machine that put hard candy on the end of a stick at the rate of 2,400 sticks per hour. At the time, the owners believed that they could produce enough candies on a stick in a single week to supply the nation’s demand for an entire year.

Also in 1908, George Smith, owner of a confectionary company called the Bradley Smith Company, took credit for inventing the modern version of the lollipop. In 1931, he took the next step and trademarked the term ‘lollipop.” It is said that he borrowed the name from a famous racehorse of the time named Lolly Pop.

And how are lollipops made?

Making lollipops is simple. First, candy makers mix and heat sugar and corn syrup. Once cooked, bright colors and wonderful flavors are added. The sticky mixture then goes to a batch roller and press. This process forms the head of the lollipop and the machine inserts the sticks. The lollipops are then cooled, wrapped and are ready to find their way to a candy store near you.

Lollipops are one of the most popular candies. Companies such as Dum Dums in Bryan, Ohio, and  Hammond’s in Denver, Colorado offer daily tours so you can see firsthand how they are made.

Picking apples at a farm near you

It’s apple season and there are orchards and markets across the country overflowing with apples. There are pies to be made, apple butter to cook and harvest festivals to attend.

Before you bite into that next apple, here’s a bit about its history:

The apple tree originated in Western Asia, where you can sill find its wild ancestor today. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C. After thousand years of cultivation, there are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of characteristics from color to crispness. Apples were brought to North America with colonists in the 1600s, and the first apple orchard was said to have been planted near Boston in 1625. Apples must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. With the large decline in natural bee populations over the recent years, apple growers usually bring in hives of pollinators to carry the pollen during the flowering season.

With apples being grown all across the country, there’s probably a festival near you. Find an orchard or festival and have fun!


Farmer’s markets with tomatoes, peaches and more

It’s time to get out and visit your local farmer’s market. You’ll find vegetables, fruit, flowers, cheese, meats, eggs and much, much more at a farmers’ market near you.

Why buy local? Why buy fresh?

  • Locally grown and produced foods are wonderfully fresh and delicious…..local farmers often pick and sell within 24 hours.
  • Buying local gives you freedom of choice for your health and nutrition….. you know where your food comes from.
  • You can try new and unusual produce…..just ask the farmer their favorite way of preparing what they grow.
  • Local farmers can offer produce grown for its great taste…..not grown to stay “fresh” on a supermarket shelf for days and days.
  • Buying local helps the environment…..on average conventionally grown food travels 2,000 miles from field to plate.
  • You can support family farmers….. each local food purchase helps keep your surrounding communities strong.

So grab your favorite shopping bag and visit a local farmers’ market or two. You’ll be amazed at what you will find.