Food - Drink
Sponge Candy: The Sugar-Spun Treat Buffalo Has Adored Since The 1900s
Sponge candy — also known as sea foam candy, puff candy, fairy food, or honeycomb toffee — was invented in Buffalo, New York in the early 1900s. Today, at least 19 chocolatiers and confectionery brands in the Buffalo area still specialize in crafting this unique regional treat, using both the original formula and their own variations.
Sponge candy is a light and airy type of toffee that’s often compared to honeycomb. The classic candy uses sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and baking soda; when these ingredients are mixed, heated, and react with each other, it raises the candy in a way similar to bread, and the result sets into a crisp yet melty sugar confection full of holes.
Though many candy makers sell sponge candy in simple hunks, establishments like Althea’s Chocolates offer the candy in the shape of buffalos, triple-layer cakes, and covered in chocolate. Anderson's Homemade Custard sella sponge candy ice cream, and the Resurgence Brewing Company even created a sponge candy stout beer.
Sponge candies can be fragile, and they’re particularly vulnerable to heat and humidity, which can cause melting and structural damage. For the freshest sponge candies, consider ordering the treats online or in person during the cooler autumn months, which many candy makers consider to be the best season for making the confection.