Turkish Taffy Is a "chewy" (usually hard and crunchy) taffy-like candy bar, which comes in several flavors. It was invented by Victor Bonomo, a Sephardic Jew whose father, Albert J. Bonomo, had emigrated from Izmir, Turkey and founded the Bonomo Company in Coney Island, New York, in 1897, producing saltwater taffy and hard candies.
According to Tico Bonomo, son of Victor, Turkish Taffy "was not really a taffy, but what is technically known as a short nougat," consisting of a batter of corn syrup and egg whites that was cooked and then baked. It was also not Turkish, but created after World War II in the Bonomo factory. It has been marketed in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana flavors.
It was originally available in large sheets to Woolworth's stores and pieces were broken off with a ball-peen hammer at the counter and sold by weight. In the late 1940s the company released a version in candy-bar size which the purchaser could whack against a hard surface to break into bite-sized pieces. This property of being shattered or broken by sudden shock, but still pliable and soft when chewed is possible because the candy is a non-Newtonian fluid. Since the pieces were both chewy and slow-melting in the mouth, it was a favorite for the frugal customer. A bar still cost 5¢ in the 1960s. By that time, it was marketed by Gold Medal Candy Corporation of Brooklyn, New York.
In 1949, Turkish Taffy became one of the first forms of candy advertised and marketed on television, when Bonomo created and sponsored The Magic Clown on NBC Television. Tico Bonomo specifically cited the decision to use television as instrumental in the popularity of the candy-bar sized taffys.
Return of Bonomo's Turkish Taffy
In 2003, Bonomo Turkish Taffy, LLC created a website proclaiming the return of Bonomo Turkish Taffy and accepting advance orders. A press release issued by The Warrell Corporation on April 8, 2010, said the product would be available in stores in July 2010, and samples were available for preview to the confectionery industry at the National Confectioners Association's annual "Sweets and Snacks Expo" May 23–27, 2010.
Bonomo's Turkish Taffy made its official re-debut to the general public July 2, 2010, at IT'SUGAR in Atlantic City.
Current flavors of Bonomo's Turkish Taffy include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana.
In 2012 Bonomo introduced two new flavors, Blue Raspberry and Wild Cherry.
- Kaufman, Michael T. (July 4, 1999). "Victor A. Bonomo, Maker Of Candy Bars, Dies at 100". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Fifty years of candy: consolidation, clowns and confidence. Candy Industry, August 1, 1994
- Press Release (The Warrell Corporation, 8 April 2010)
- Bonomo's Turkish Taffy returns by Scott Cendrowski (CNNMoney.com, 27 October 2010)