Happy Holiday Shopping Guide! Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, the “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street, is happy to present our 2017 recommendations for gifts this year. It’s a bit late to mail this out to anyone this Christmas, but they sure make great stocking stuffers, or small presents for people who live around here! Or you can mail them out for new year’s gifts (WE ACTUALLY DO MAIL ORDER ON THESE). Oh, did I forget to tell you what I’m talking about? It’s in the title – Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. No, it’s not exotic taffy from Turkey. And no, it’s not taffy that tastes like Turkey. (Although that may be interesting)!
It’s actually a delicious, Vanilla, light, low calorie (160 per bar), low fat (0.5g) sweet treat that was invented in 1912 by a man named Herman Herer in New York. He owned his own candy company, and was making some marshmallow candy for M. Schwartz & Sons, in Newark New Jersey when he made a mistake and put too many egg whites in the batch. He then realized that he may be on to something, and Turkish Taffy was born. If you want to skip the history lesson, you can go straight to the last paragraph, and see what we have here at Annie’s. Otherwise, you can read on. It’s actually very interesting!
After Turkish Taffy was bought by M. Schwartz and Sons, the Bonomo Family of Coney Island, New York purchased all the rights to Turkish Taffy, and renamed it, Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. This family was responsible for making Turkish Taffy a household name in most American cities. When most people thought about Coney Island, they thought about the Cyclone, Hot Dogs, and Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy.
The company changed hands after a long time, and then The Tootsie Roll company bought the rights to Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy in 1972. They changed the formula, and the name, and made Turkish Taffy much chewier, and then shelved the product in the mid 1980’s, so the product had not been seen on shelves since then.
The passion and demand for the real Turkish Taffy never waned. Fans banded together over the Internet to petition its return. Then, in 2002, Kenny Wiesen of New York, and Jerry Sweeney of Philadelphia acquired the rights to Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy, and took years to perfect it to make sure that the original formula, packaging, etc. were in place. They launched it in 2010, at the largest and most prestigious candy show in the world, The NCA (National Confectionery Association) Sweets and Snack show held in Chicago. It is now made in York, PA, exactly as it was between the 1940’s and 1972.
LAST PARAGRAPH: We have the Vanilla and Strawberry flavored taffy, but they also come in Chocolate and Banana. Please let us know if you would like the other flavors, and we will order them! There are also other wonderful candies available from the Pennsylvania Dutch Candy Company for special order if there is enough interest. Annie’s price on the Turkish Taffy is $1.00 per bar, $20.00 for a box of 24 bars.
Thank you for making Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester your neighborhood bookstore, and we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!