Yesterday I shared photos from The Spout in Depoe Bay. We were in Depoe Bay as the sun crested over the eastern hill, perfect for rainbow after rainbow. Each wave spray of the ocean shot up rainbows. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. We were in Depoe Bay as the sun rose to go to Ainslee’s Salt Water Taffy for a Salt Water Taffy Tour. I’m pretty sure I know where they get their ‘salt water’ from. Below are the boys waiting across the street until start time:
Our hostess, a fellow homeschool mom, has been playing around these hot copper kettles since she was knee high to a grasshopper. Her family has operated Ainslee’s since the early 70’s. I don’t think you could ask for a better tour guide!
She excitedly told the group how the colors and flavors are put in, adding so many fun details. Did you know they have gluten sensitivities, so their taffy and the process is 100% Gluten free? Did you know that the color does not change the flavor, any flavor could be any color, so darker colors do not represent increased flavors? See the hook on the wall? Even though that is an old Meat Hook, it is a reminder of the Salt Water Pioneers who pulled taffy by hand and cut the portions with scissors with a hand twisted wrapper.
Their amazing open equipment is best viewed from the street. Any passerby can watch and marvel at the process. There is a small viewing area inside, but we busted out the place. I enjoyed how much she respects the Taffy Puller himself. Chemistry and Physics, Mechanical Engineer. Even musical – listening to the rhythm of the equipment. Sounds in the taffy process will indicate a problem in the equipment. If caught early enough, a quick repair can be made. Not being attentive, can cost them their livelihood, as most Salt Water Taffy machines are now made to be closed and more efficient. They enjoy the craftsmanship of each piece of candy; they make sure to keep this machine well maintained.
(Gratuitous photo below for people looking for Homeschoolers in Lincon County –
We Need More Teens and Boys! But we have enough to have a fun day!!)
Inside, she had the end cut of the fresh soft peach taffy
to give as a prize for answering a question correctly.
Then, she VERY generously had boxes with each child’s name printed on them.The kids were instructed to find their box, and Fill It Up. Oh I can’t describe the wide eyes and disbelieving smiles and timid joyful searches for their name – and the giggly chatter at which flavors to include!
One thing I didn’t know – and always wondered – is Shelf Life. How do they rotate the candy? At Ainslee’s, they never have taffy more than 7 days old in the bins. They ship world wide – and want it to be the freshest possible on delivery. They say that it will never go ‘bad’ as in bad for you, but it looses its best fresh wonderfulness after about 3 months. Not sure how they did a test like that, our boxes from yesterday are almost devoured completely!
The Wet Kid from the Sea Spray answered the question correctly – Man. That is the best peach beach taffy ya ever tasted.
You may take a virtual tour of their shelves. It won’t smell as good or shoot out a sample to ya, but you can order a pound of taffy for $6.50 and they’ll ship it to you!