Tootsie Popsby Tyler Woods on Sep. 21, 2012, under Life
A few years back I converted my old family slides into pictures on the computer. I often enjoy looking at them as I find something new it seems all the time. This morning as I was looking at these family jewels, I spotted a picture of my sister holding something that none of us has outgrown and it got me thinking…
How many licks does it really take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? As kids, we used to try to take our Tootsie Pop and try to count. I would lose count but I am sure my sister or cousin probably knows the answer to this question that has plagued man since 1930 when a fellow named Lukas R. “Luke” Weisgram invented these yummy suckers. These “suckers” made their public debut in 1932.
I was never sure how many licks it took to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop. I once counted up to 300 and then could care less. However, a student decided that perhaps they should put this licking thing to the test and this wise student from the University of Cambridge found out through studying that it took 3,481 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. That could not be and so a student from another elite college, Purdue to be exact, proclaimed it took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop using a “licking machine”. Other colleges like Michigan concluded that it takes 411 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Year after year through mechanical tongues, and machines, and real licking, it seems that we still do not know how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. It may have to remain a mystery to man, all I know is that it takes me about 6-8 minutes to get to the center of that tootsie pop.
What other candy has been studied so hard? This old time favorite lollypop also came with a legend. If you ever unwrap a Tootsie Pop you may come across an Indian shooting at a star on the wrapper. Back when, it was rumored if you got a wrapper with the Indian shooting an arrow at a star, you could send it in and get a free tootsie pop. The company said it was not true but years and years ago, retail stores and gas stations would offer you a free sucker if you turned in your Indian wrapper. Some people believed that if you got that wrapper, you would have good luck, while others never knew there was an Indian on the wrapper, they were just too concerned with getting to the center of the Tootsie Pop.
Putting all that aside, I loved Tootsie Pops. I get a great piece of candy, and a tootsie roll which has always been my all time favorite candy, well besides a Tootsie Pop because I get the best of both worlds. These great suckers came in a variety of flavors such as cherry, grape, orange, raspberry and chocolate. I hear there are new flavors such as green apple, pomegranate and banana. I have also seen alternating flavors such as blue raspberry, lemon lime, strawberry, and watermelon. Banana and green apple? Really?
One of the reasons I love this classic retro candy is it is 60 calories and is a fat-free pop, it’s the perfect guilt-free piece of candy that offers me lasting satisfaction. I have used this candy as rewards in my office, I have used them to help lose weight as in if I wanted something sweet I just stuck a sucker in my mouth, I have used the great suckers to quit smoking, and have used these suckers as a great personal treat for over 50 years.
Today Retroflections looks back at this great classic candy that thank goodness, is still around. Now here is the question I ask the readers, really how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?