In what is likely going to be the most controversial piece of legislation to come along since New York State politicians debated whether or not to designate yogurt the State Snack, New Jersey Assembly lawmakers today gave initial approval to a plan that would make saltwater taffy the official State Candy. The bill’s next hurdle is to clear full Assembly, and it probably will, considering this whole thing was the work of adorable fifth graders who seized upon the historical fact that saltwater taffy as we know it was first marketed in Atlantic City in the late 19th century. (Smarties, even though they’ve been made in New Jersey for the last 65 years straight, were presumably tabled because they’re a trademarked product.)
The bill is likely to encounter opposition as it traverses legislative channels, and, of course, partisanship. “My favorite flavor is banana and chocolate,” Assembly Member Valerie Vainieri Huttle reportedly told a group of students bearing taffy samples today, in a move that is bound to alienate supporters of root-beer-float taffy and classic caramel swirl.