Easy winner: the creamy chocolate and vanilla fudges from the plethora of Fudge Kitchens all over the Shore. You can get nuts and marshmallows and stuff mixed in, but you don’t need to. (Fudge Kitchen Multiple locations; fudgekitchens.com).
Ask for peanut butter saltwater taffy from James Saltwater Taffy in Atlantic City. This is where SWT was invented in the 1880s, and the cute little shop inside Bally’s, facing the Boardwalk, is one of the very few original stores from the old days; Bally’s built around it. Also: The chewy, clean-tasting peppermint taffy from another oldie, Shriver’s, in Ocean City. They’ve been there since 1898 — they know their taffy. Downbeachers have always been evangelical about Margate’s and Ventnor’s humble little Jagielky’s (chocolates shown below). They needn’t be: The chocolate-covered blueberries and krispy fluff (marshmallow covered in Rice Krispies and then — mmmm — dipped in chocolate) have converted half the Shore on their own. (James Saltwater Taffy 1519 Boardwalk (at New York Avenue), and at the Tropicana Casino, Atlantic City; 609-344-1519, jamescandy.com; Shriver’s 9th Street and the Boardwalk, Ocean City, 877-668-2339, shrivers.com; Jagielky’s 5115 Ventnor Avenue,
Ventnor, 609-823-6501, and 8018 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, 609-822-2204 jagielkys.com).
The LBI outpost of the NYC-based Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar is, at three years old, still a relative newcomer, but it’s hard to imagine Beach Haven without this chic, air-conditioned refuge, much less without the Elvis bonbon — banana marshmallow and crunchy peanut butter enrobed in dark chocolate. (Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar 220 Centre Street, Beach Haven, 609-492-2577, chocolatebarnyc.com).