How’s the back to school shopping going? Clothes and shoes and supplies, oh my! Have you started, or are you finished? Or, maybe you’re like us and somewhere in the middle. After looking back at our last few blogs, we noticed we’ve been rambling on, and on, about state fair food, and candy recipes, and Pinterest so we’ve decided it was to go back to something else we love so dearly–candy history! (Not that all those things are bad things–we’re just living in this constant state of munchy and crafty. It’s not good for both our waistline OR pocket book.)
A bit ago, we got in a new flavor of Bonomo’s, Turkish Taffy, so we figured it was a great time to delve into the history of this chewy favorite!
Turkish Taffy is another oldie which was born after the Bonomo candy company was founded in 1897 by a man, from Turkey, named Albert J. Bonomo. Like many other’s at the time, Albert emigrated to America and settled down in New York. Albert became famous for both his hard candies and saltwater taffy; he sold them out of his Coney Island shop. Later on, in the year 1912, his son Victor, invented the now famous, Turkish Taffy. (It’s not a Turkish recipe, by the way. He named it that for marketing purposes. Also, it’s not, technically, taffy–it’s more of a nougat. It’s made from several ingredients, including corn syrup and egg whites. So, we’re thinking that the name Turkish Taffy is one, big, lie–though a delicious one, at that.)
Turkish Taffy became widely distributed in the ’30’s and ’40’s when it became available for all in Woolworth’s. The candy was initially shipped as a school desk sized, sheet, that would need to be broken apart by tapping on it with a small hammer. The candy was then sold by weight. By the ’40’s, the candy was being sold in individual, candy bar sized, chunks. (Much like it is now.)
Later, in the late ’40’s, Bonomo became one of the first candy brands to advertise on national television. They even created, and sponsored, a children’s show called The Magic Clown which aired on NBC. (I can’t imagine a candy company creating, and sponsoring, a show nowadays. That seems odd–but, also, genius.)
Bonomo’s hold on the market eventually began to fade and, after being bought in 1980 by the Tootsie Roll company, was discontinued less than a decade later–leaving consumers wondering if they’d ever get to eat Turkish Taffy again. It took quite some time, but, in 2003–a comeback was staged and advance orders were being placed; in 2010–the candy was BACK on the store shelves. They still make the traditional flavors, Banana, Strawberry, Vanilla and Chocolate along with the new additions of Wild Cherry and Blue Raspberry.
Whether you eat it frozen and cracked, or room temperature and chewy–no matter what the story, Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy is just as good as ever :)
Info gathered from: