Prepared by hand at Nora’s Candy Shop, 321 N. Doxtator
St., the Original Candyland Turkey Joints were developed in 1919 by
Syracuse-based confectioner Harry Haritatos, and named for their
striking resemblance to poultry bones. The original “joint” contains a
decadent chocolate and brazil nut “bone marrow” center sheathed in a
delicate shiny and crunchy sugar “bone” outer shell. It is the bumps
from the nuts that make the candies look like bones.
The candy found its way to Candyland, operated by
Haritatos’ four brothers who came from Cephalonia, Greece, and opened
the eatery in 1921. Tasos Haritatos joined his older brothers at
Candyland in the 1950s, which closed in 1972, then subsequently bought
the rights to Turkey Joints in 1974. Tasos began producing Turkey
Joints in his house, where he also repaired lawnmowers (in the garage,
not in the kitchen). Tasos’ son, Spero, now runs the shop with his wife
Turkey Joints, available for shipping purposes only from
October to May (Nora’s can’t ship the product during the summertime
heat), remain a tradition today. “People want to just flip a switch
these days,” says Sharon, “but we still make candy the old way, on the
same equipment that was used at Candyland.”
The family recipe is, naturally, a secret. It takes more
than 70,000 pounds of chocolate a year just to keep up with the demand,
which still peaks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Candyland Turkey Joints come in three other varieties.
The coco-monds combine a silvery sugar coating with a center filled
with chocolate, toasted almonds and coconut flakes. The peanut butter
sticks feature deliciously nutty smooth and creamy peanut butter inside
a molasses sugarcoating covered with rich milk chocolate. The
chocolate-covered models take the original one step beyond by adding
another layer of chocolate to the crunchy outer shell. All varieties
are packed in a jar and priced at $18.75 plus tax.
While they are available by e-mailing Nora’s at
firstname.lastname@example.org, Turkey Joints can be found in local
stores as well. “We order Turkey Joints every year around this time,
and have regular customers who buy them for the holidays,” says Alison
Leonhardt, a sales associate at Smith Restaurant Supply. Only the
original variety is available there, priced at $17.95, plus tax.
Turkey Joints are also available at specialty stops
throughout New York state, and parts of Pennsylvania, and locally at
Chuck Hafner's Farmers Market, 5169 W. Taft Road, North Syracuse
(458-2231), area Wegmans and Price Chopper stores and by calling Nora’s
Candy Shop at (888) 544-8224 or visiting www.turkeyjoints.com. Nora’s
is also open year-round, Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.