Because I was born in the nineties, there's really no way I can attest to Bonomo Turkish Taffy actually being retro. You see, the concept of retro to me applies to ephemeral and long-gone things like a young, innocent Britney Spears, String Thing and Dunkaroos as a balanced lunch (with a Tang chaser), and cel animated Disney movies. While parents of real "retro" eras waxed poetically about Woodstock, I was rocking out to Pinkerton well into my...well, right now, in fact.
Point is, it's silly to apply the phrase retro to anything that isn't thirty years or older than you currently are now, because retroactive trends are relative to the people they surround. But believe me when I tell you that this shit is retro. And Kosher to boot! Right down to the ballooned 60's font and complete lack of graphics, the archaic "crack it up" catch phrase, and the pastel colors. If it weren't for the website on the back, I'd be hard pressed to believe this wasn't directly from the 60's and that I wasn't ingesting 50 year old candy.
Thanks to my mom, an aficionado of all things vintage (she also provided the background for these photos!), I was able to try a few bars of this strange confection. Turkish Taffy isn't quite a viscoelastic fluid, but it does have a few things in common with Silly Putty. The strawberry flavored bar is that same puce pink, and the candy has to be sharply whacked against a hard surface to break the molecules apart quickly enough so that one can eat small chunks at a time. I'm talking Maxwell's Silver Hammer bashed, too. These take at least three good whacks to break into edible pieces. Whole, the bar is very difficult to break by bending or gnawing bits off and is recommended only if you're bored and waiting for your next episode of Clarissa Explains It All to stream. It is also stretchable and can be shaped into snakes and letters and crude penises. So what's separating this from being a scented, sticky Silly Putty?Actually, not much. The strawberry one, at least. It doesn't fare very well at all and ended up cracking into tiny, sharp shards that both tasted and smelled like artificially scented erasers- a powdery, generic fruit scent. The instructions commanded that you let the candy melt away in your mouth. But who has the patience to suck on candy? I certainly don't, and unless you're one of those annoying fraudful "supertasters," you won't either. Because that's bullshit. So I crunched through and found a texture similar to what I imagine dinosaurs felt in the La Brea tar pits- complete helplessness. It just stuck there and until I let it soften, there it lay.Let that be a lesson to you. It can never hurt to suck something until it gets soft in your mouth. Because otherwise, it might get stuck.
So that was the strawberry taffy. The chocolate has the same textural whimsy and a rather different flavor not unlike cocoa. Once you get over the initial chalkiness and dirt flavor of the chocolate taffy, it reaches an unsettlingly specific flavor identical to glazed chocolate doughnuts. Creepily so. I preferred this to the strawberry by far because it at least gave me a visualization of something edible I could connect it to versus the pica ramifications of the former. Fucking pica. I like these retro candies. They have a certain charm to them. They seem to last longer than today's modern candies, contain far less calories, and are nostalgic, if strangely flavored.
Labels: 5, candy