Contrary to popular belief, Turkish Taffy was not invented by Victor Bonomo. It was actually invented in 1912 by Herman Herer in New York. Herer emigrated to New York in 1901, from Austria, where he had been the apprentice of a candy maker. Once here, he started his own candy making business. A batch of marshmallow gone wrong would prove to be his making. He added too many egg whites to the batch of marshmallow but recognized that he may have something promising on his hands. After many rounds of experimentation and tweaking the recipe, he had come up with “Turkish Taffy”. Sadly, nobody seems to know where the name came from.
In 1936 the Bonomo family, of Coney Island, New York purchased the rights to Turkish Taffy. Eventually Turkish Taffy and Bonomo’s became one and the same and it was subsequently referred to as Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. the Bonomo Family trade-marked the terms “Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy” and “Turkish Taffy” starting in 1946. They are credited with introducing the product to Hundreds of Thousands of new fans. At first, Turkish Taffy was sold to concessionaires on the boardwalk of Coney Island and out of a basket on the boardwalk. It was then sold through the F.W. Woolworth Company. Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy was sold in Woolworth stores in large rectangular blocks from which pieces were broken off by a small hammer known as a ball-peen and sold by weight. Bonomo said that that at its height, they sold 80 million bars per year.
In 1972 Tootsie Roll Industries purchased Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy, however, they changed the formulation and packaging and eventually discontinued it. After many years of trying, Kenny Wiesen, of New York and Jerry Sweeney of Philadelphia were successful in acquiring Bonomo Turkish Taffy in 2002. The duo spent years ensuring that it would be returned in its original smack-it crack-it formula. Bonomo Turkish Taffy, LLC relaunched Turkish Taffy in 2010. Bonomo Turkish Taffy is produced in the USA in exactly the same way it was from the 1940’s to 1972. The original design and packaging was also recreated. It is made in bars and bite size twists in Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana. VonCanon General Store currently carries the bar varieties.
In 2011, Bonomo Turkish Taffy launched its web site: www.BonomoTurkishTaffy.com . Fans can email the site to talk about their memories and stories with Bonomo Turkish Taffy.