Nov 12, 2012

Turkey Joints are awesome

Rome, New York has several unique attractions and one of my favorite New York State destinations. It is home to Fort Stanwix that played a critical role in the Revolutionary War. The fort is open for tours and the Willet Visitor Center has excellent displays and videos along with ranger-led tours of the fort. And, I loved the Sears Oil Gas Station Museum. It is small, interesting and beautifully restored. It was built by Howard P. Sears Sr. as the second station in a chain of gas stations and has many original features: classic clock face gas pumps, sight glass on each pump showed that the gas was flowing, and an oil change pit with funnel that allowed the oil to empty into an underground storage tank alleviating the need to handle the oil.

While I was visiting Rome I discovered something else unique when someone

asked, “Have you tried our Turkey Joints? They are amazing.” Turkey Joints? I had not, so I headed to Nora’s Candy Shop. Turkey Joints are a wonderfully unique confection with no feathers. The outer shell of the 6-inch long ‘bone’ is a shiny silver, crisp spun confection that is tasty all by itself. But the “bone marrow” is the best part as it is made of decadent chocolate and Brazil nuts. The Brazil nuts create a knob in the confection that resembles a bone joint.

Nora’s Candy Shop has been in business since 1919 and the Turkey Joints are made from the family’s secret recipe using the same handmade techniques and procedures that have not changed from the 1920's. The Haritatos family emigrated from Greece and settled in Rome. Like most immigrants they were poor and as Sharon Haritatos, explained, “…by sheer determination and hard work over the years they started several businesses. They had a hat blocking and shoeshine shop, vending machine businesses and the candy store/restaurant.” Nora’s is still in the Hoaritatos family with Spero, and his wife, Sharon, the current proprietors.

At one time Mona’s and their Turkey Joints were seasonal but now they are open year round with Turkey Joints especially popular around Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Mona’s has expanded their line of candy to include a variety of many traditional types of homemade chocolates such as their homemade Peppermint Paddies and to-die-for Chocolate Covered Ritz PBs. They have also elaborated on their Turkey Joint's original flavor adding new varieties including Inside Out Turkey Joints, Chocolate Covered Turkey Joints, Peanut Butter Sticks, Midnight Cashew Sticks, Coconut Almond (Coco-monds), Raspberry Truffle and Orange Truffle Turkey Joints. Gotta’ love those joints!

Later in the day when I was in nearby Sylvan Beach I stopped at A&A Treasures. The store had everything from furniture to jewelry but no Turkey Joints. The manager said, “I stock Turkey Joints especially at holiday time but they fly off the shelves.” Luckily I bought a jar of Turkey Joints when I was at Mona’s for my

husband, John, who was unable to make the trip. John was delighted with his jar of Turkey Joints which he declared were wonderful… and then the jar disappeared to one of his secret hidey spots! The good news is they can be ordered on line at but not during the summer months as the spun confection and chocolate are cool-weather friendly and don’t do well when shipped in the hot weather.