Turkey Joints That Taste Like Candy | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Turkey Joints That Taste Like Candy

Play associated audio

Part of an ongoing series on unique holiday dishes

Each fall when it turns cold, a candy maker in Rome, N.Y., kicks into production on a confection known as turkey joints.

And each year as Christmas approaches, I receive a jar of these bone-shaped candies in my shoe. My mother-in-law, Miriam Ganze, claims that leaving gifts in your shoes is a bona fide European tradition for the 6th of December — St. Nicholas Day. But the turkey joints are a uniquely upstate New York twist. She was first introduced to them when vacationing with friends from Rome, about three hours east of where we live in Rochester.

"So through the years we had this celebration where we had the exchange of the regional culinary treat," she says.

The families would apparently sit around the campfire and swap weird local foods. "I guess it's a signature candy for Rome, and so when we invented this nonsensical game, they just knew that turkey joints would be the thing to bring."

That's because turkey joints are so utterly strange. They're about half a foot long and have a silvery sheen. They get their name from the knobby little "joints" that run up and down their length. Those are the Brazil nuts embedded in the bone's "chocolate marrow," according to the website for Nora's Candy Shop, the company that makes them.

"They're really good. The outside is, it's sweet. It almost tastes like cotton candy or something, it like really has a sugary flavor," says my friend Britany Salsbury. She came to visit me in Rochester, and I told her that I wanted to introduce her to a "poultry-themed candy." So I took her to Stever's Candies, the only place I know of that sells joints locally.

"They're good enough that I can overlook the fact that they look like bones," Salsbury says.

Kevin Stever, who sells turkey joints shipped in from Nora's, says the handmade candy is extremely vulnerable to humidity, so it has to be packaged in glass, bumping the price up to almost $20 a jar.

Rachel Ward of member station WXXI reports from Rochester, N.Y.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Small South Carolina Newspaper Takes Home Top Pulitzer Prize

The winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, fiction, poetry, drama, music, biography, history and nonfiction were announced Monday at Columbia University in New York.
NPR

When Danish Cows See Fresh Spring Pasture, They Jump For Joy

Thousands of spectators gather every April to see ecstatic cows return to fields on organic farms around Denmark. The organic industry says the event has helped fuel demand for organic foods.
WAMU 88.5

Hello, Goodbye: Pair Of Virginia Delegates Depart After Short Careers In Richmond

Some members of the Virginia's General Assembly are throwing in the towel, deciding against seeking reelection. — and some of them haven't been around for very long.
NPR

Norway Becoming First Country To Eliminate FM Radio

The switch from analog to digital radio offers more channels at a fraction of the cost, the government says.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.