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What Is Sponge Candy? The Story Behind The Buffalo Treat

Sponge Candy
SpongeCandy.com, Facebook

Sponge candy — sometimes known as honeycomb toffee, golden crushers, cinder toffee or hokey pokeys — is a Buffalo-centric treat with the likeness of fudge, except with extra sugar.

In the same genre as toffee, sponge candy can be found anywhere from Great Britain to Scotland to New Zealand, but in America, the main distributors are in Buffalo, Michigan and other locations around Lake Erie. People of Cleveland won’t have a clue what you’re talking about when you mention sponge candy, but travel two and a half hours due east to Buffalo, and you can effortlessly locate sponge candy in the bulk section of grocery stores.

The precise origin story of sponge candy remains unknown, since it has such a bizarre availability in such random places. Many different versions of sponge candy have come and gone, making it difficult to put a finger on exactly when and where it was first made.

Some theorists have suggested Buffalo — a popular theory, at that — was the first city to attain what Buffalonians consider sponge candy today. This notion dates back to 1985, when the Whitt family opened Ko-Ed Candy Shop and mass produced over 30,000 pounds of sponge candy and other taffies and toffee.

Great Britain’s Cadbury Sponge Candy Company first mass produced its sponge toffee in 1929, although there is a distinguishable difference between the two products  Cadbury actually first set up shop in Australia in 1922 and served as the official candy supplier of the Australian army during World War II.

Even through all of its phases, sponge candy still owns its own regime in many stores in Buffalo. Locations such as Parkside Candy, King Condrell’s Candy & Ice Cream, Mike’s Homemade Candies and Ko-Ed Candy Shop all reside in the Buffalo area, serving as outlets for the rare treat that is sponge candy.

Contributed by Jake Knott

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