Chocolate Tootsie Pops and urban lore…Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 by Jon
What comes around goes around and this applies to the beloved, and elusive, Chocolate Tootsie Pops.
In 1931, fueled by the success of the soft “chocolaty” Tootsie Roll, an employee of the Sweets Company of America – renamed Tootsie Roll Industries in 1966 – decided to encase the famous candy in a hard candy shell and thus Tootsie Pops were inadvertently born. These famous lollipops were a precursor to what is now called “novelty candy” as they were advertised as candy with a prize center.
I am sure that the inventor, Luke Weisgram, never imagined that the company would eventually produce twenty (20) million lollipops daily!
The first flavor was chocolate which remains the most sought after flavor as any supermarket bulk candy bin will silently attest. Today, despite literally dozens of flavors, Chocolate Tootsie Pops remain an elusive treat.
As to the proverbial question of “how many licks does it take to get to center of a Tootsie Roll Pop,” a group of engineering students from Purdue University recorded that their licking machine, modeled after a human tongue, took an average of 364 licks to get to the center! So much for the beloved Tootsie Mascot, Mr. Owl’s claim of “the world may never know…”
As for the urban legend that if you receive a Tootsie Pop with a Native American aiming a bow and arrow, Tootsie Pop Industries will give you free candy, we are sad to report that like so many legends, this remains more fiction than fact, however, if you contact Tootsie Roll Industries and tell them how many licks it takes to finish your Tootsie Pop, the will send you a Clean Stick Certificate.
PS: Ironically, I noticed that boxes from the manufacturer are now bearing the following, “Watch for new flavors added to our mix.” Stay tuned, as this will surely be the topic of another entry….