While on a recent trip to Maui, Hawaii, I was in the mood for something other than chocolate covered macadamia nuts, an Island staple. (Besides, my husband is so allergic to macadamia nuts that even the mere scent of one nearly triggers an allergic reaction). We stopped by the Maui Sweets & Treats shop to see what they had to offer. We stepped inside to find this appealing ten-foot square shop lined from floor to ceiling with nothing but jars of candy. I decided to try their variety pack of saltwater taffy, a treat made locally on the Island.
I ate the first piece and was pleasantly surprised at how airy it was, not to mention the fresh flavor. This made me wonder what makes some taffy light and fluffy versus others which almost rip the fillings from your teeth. The store clerk wasn’t sure, so I did a little research and learned from the Science of Cooking, the secret to a light but chewy texture is to pull it, and pull it, and pull it, for up to 15 minutes, while making it. Pulling it incorporates many tiny bubbles (can you hear Don Ho singing in the background) throughout the candy creating the light, chewy texture. For those of you who want to make taffy at home, you’ll end up with some delicious candy AND an upper body workout. However, I was on vacation and the only effort I wanted to exert was turning the page on my book while parked firmly in a beach chair.
Maui Sweets & Treats offers an assortment of tropical island taffy flavors including coconut, banana, guava, passion fruit, macadamia nut, and mango (my favorite). Each has a delightful flavor. You can top off the experience with a Kohna coffee (taffy, that is!).
Maui Sweets & Treats