Denture Danger: 10
Once upon a time in the land of Turkey lived a man named Albert J. Bonomo. Al emigrated to Coney Island, New York and founded the Bonomo candy company in 1897.
This candy company made hard candies, but specialized in its saltwater taffy. As delicious as Al’s saltwater taffies must have been, it was not Al, but the son of Al who introduced the masterpiece of the Turkish Taffy that we have all known and loved since we learned to say the word “taffy.”
An interesting thing about this candy that Tico, son of Victor, pointed out is that it is not technically taffy, it would be better described as nougat because of its corn syrup and egg white ingredients. Also the taffy is not any kind of Turkish secret family recipe. It was named Turkish Taffy purely for marketing reasons.
When the candy was first distributed into Woolworth stores it came in school desk size sheets that were broken into pieces with ball-peen hammers. In the late 1940s the hammers were dropped and the bars of taffy took the field. The bars have a unique way of being eaten.
Before opening the wrapper you can smack the candy against the table so that it breaks into bite size pieces. When the taffy is too soft to break, a few minutes in the freezer does the trick to help the candy shatter. Bonomos’ flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and even banana.
Bonomo was one of the first candies to be advertised on television and it surely wasn’t poorly marketed. The Magic Clown was a character on NBC Television who did your usual clown tricks and gags, but it all depended on the magic word: Bonomo. The commercials had a catchy hook, “B-O-N-O-M-O, O-O-O BONOMO!” that helped to make the candy so successful; they were so successful that in the 50’s and 60’s, 80 to 100 million bars were sold per year.
In 1980 Tootsie Roll industries bought the candy and only nine years later they discontinued it. In 2003, the people who could only feel the melting taffy in their mouth through nostalgic memories began a movement to bring Bonomo back. The Bonomo website lacks information in that particular area, but I had the privilege to chew up some tasty Bonomo, so they must be in production somewhere. The Warrel Corporation claims that the Bonomos that you all love and miss so much will be back in stores and available for purchase this summer in July of 2010.
That, my friends, is the story of the elusive Bonomo.
Patience will prevail as you await the return of this wholesome nougaty Turkish Taffy. The day will come again when we will all hold our Bonomos above our heads and slam them against the table in unison.