If you’re from Buffalo, chances are high you grew up with sponge candy. The light, crunchy, chocolate-coated confection originated in Buffalo and has been a local culinary staple since the mid-1900s. If you aren’t from the Western New York area, you’d be forgiven for never hearing about sponge candy. That’s why we’ve developed this FAQ - to provide you with a little background on Buffalo’s sweetest invention!
What is Sponge Candy?
Sponge candy is a crunchy, lightly toasted toffee made from sugar, corn syrup and baking soda, enrobed in a creamy chocolate coating. It is a regional confection, found primarily in the Western New York area. Many variations of the sweet treat, some with or without chocolate, exist around the world. “Fairy food candy” in Wisconsin, "seafoam" on the West Coast and “cinder toffee” in the U.K. are all examples of similar confections. However, none quite matches the taste, texture and consistency of the Buffalo sponge candy that generations of Western New Yorkers have come to embrace.
Where did it originate?
While its exact origin is a mystery, experts generally agree it began popping up in Buffalo candy shops sometime in the 1940s or ‘50s. At Niagara Chocolates we have been making sponge candy since we opened in 1956, serving several flavors including classic milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate and sweet and citrus-y orange chocolate.
How is it made?
Making sponge candy is a delicate and labor-intensive process. At Niagara Chocolates we only produce sponge candy in small batches; and due to specific temperature and humidity requirements it can only be produced from September to May. Listen to Niagara Chocolates’ Joe Annunziato describe the intricate sponge candy making process on Weck Radio (skip to 5:22):
Where Can I Get It?
Curious about Buffalo’s sweetest invention? Try it for yourself. Sponge candy is one of the unique and delicate confections only found in the heart of Western New York, so give it a whirl; you won’t be disappointed!
About Niagara Chocolates
Sponge candy is a true Buffalo tradition, and here at Niagara by Frey we have been happily making sponge candy since we opened in 1956. We specialize in premium Sponge Candy, available in three flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and orange chocolate. Our community loves our candy, and we are humbled to have the honor of being voted “Best Sponge Candy in Buffalo” in an official blind taste test against some of Buffalo's best candy makers.