How Many Licks?
There are very few commercials on television today that I really enjoy watching (although, I do have a soft spot for that commercial with all of the smiling appliances). But, as a youngster, my brother and I couldn’t resist admiring those cartoon Tootsie Pop commercials. “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.”
I mean, how could we know when that pesky owl always took a bite after only three licks? Amateur. I always made it at least 50 licks before giving in. Anyway, the reason I’m bringing it up is because the other day, I saw the commercial! It came out of nowhere. I was just watching some good old “Spongebob” when the little cartoon boy with no apparent neck or torso approached the owl in the tree and asked his typical question (I would think he’d be pretty frustrated by this point, it’s been years and he still has the same unsatisfactory answer).
Some, however, were determined to find the true answer. A group from Purdue University developed a licking machine and students from the University of Michigan followed suit, creating one of their own. Groups from high schools and universities have attempted to find the universal truth, but have come up with mixed results. The licks range from 144 to 364 to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.
But, before our lives were tortured with the insoluble question, the Tootsie Roll itself had to be invented. Leo Hirshfield, born in Austria, created the famous candy in 1896 when he opened a candy shop in New York City. He sold the candy — named after his daughter, Clara, whose nickname was Tootsie — for a penny apiece. The candy’s great success led to the creation of Tootsie Pops in 1931. And, of course, the candy was immediately popular. In fact, the army began distributing the pops to troops during World War II for a delicious and portable treat that gave a quick boost of energy.
Tootsie Pops originally came in five flavors: Chocolate, Cherry, Orange, Grape and Raspberry. Recently however, Tootsie Roll Industries has created three exciting new flavors: Pomegranate, Banana, and Green Apple. The company has stuck to the original Tootsie Roll recipe and remains one of the largest candy producers in the world.
I have a bag of Tootsie Pops in my dorm room currently, just in case I’m craving a delicious snack—or if I’m in the mood to count my licks. I’ve never managed to count all the way to the center, but I challenge you to do so. It’s definitely on my list of things to do before I die. That’s not weird, right? Otherwise, “the world may never know.”
P.S. All Tootsie commercials can be found here – enjoy!
Posted in AU Gourmet