Taffy tradition brings generations of sweet memories

Taffy tradition brings generations of sweet memories

SPRINGFIELD -- Tradition is an important part of the Illinois State Fair and one candy company has been making generations of families smile for decades.
SPRINGFIELD -- Tradition is an important part of the Illinois State Fair and one candy company has been making generations of families smile for decades. At 180 pieces of taffy wrapped each minute by the Sutter’s Salt Water Taffy booth, the family-owned business is in high gear at the Illinois State Fair.

Krista King, of Sutter’s Candy, shows off the busy operation which works from sun-up to well after sundown each day at the fair.

“Right now, you probably smell a little cinnamon. We’re actually making cinnamon right now,” King said.

The candy company has been pulling taffy at the Illinois fair for 85 years. King shows off two large rotating cranks which pull the taffy in a 360 degree motion.

“So right here is where we actually flavor it. We have kind of a secret ingredient we put on it to get it its fluffiness,” King said. “It [the pullers] just gives it that gooey stretch texture, that you know, it’s taffy.”

For some, she said buying a box of the stretched-out candy is everything.

“A lot of people, it’s their one stop to come get their box of taffy,” King said. “The one thing they have to do while they’re at the fair.”

Eryn Pearson has been visiting the fair with her parents from Princeville for more than twenty years and each year they would buy taffy to bring home.

“My mom used to love this stuff,” Pearson said. “I actually bought this just for her so I can take it back home because she couldn’t come this year.”

With a recipe which hasn't changed in almost a century, and on machines half as old, King said today's taffy is just as good as when grandma was a kid.

“It’s very exciting for us to see it and keep the traditions going year after year,” King said.

Sutter’s Taffy is the largest mobile taffy company, but you can also order online year-round at its website.
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