Licorice- A Repulsive Delectable Treat

Did you know that taste of licorice is so distinctive that its taste is detectable when diluted to one part licorice and twenty thousand parts water?

This yummy candy has been around since the ancient times. The Ancient Egyptians put licorice in the tombs of loved ones. The Ancient Chinese believed that eating licorice root gave them strength and endurance. Everyone from Caesar, to Alexander the Great, to the Scythian Armies used licorice for its healing properties and its ability to quench soldiers’ thirst. Licorice has also been used for medicinal purposes. The licorice root has been used as a cough suppressant, treatment to infection, ulcers, eczema, and throat irritation for over 3000 years!

Licorice was first grown in Europe at an English monastery in Pontefract. From there, word spread to America and then to the rest of the world, and it has been a favorite ever since! The reason the licorice root is so appealing is because of the aromatic compound Anethole. Anethole can be found in other foods such as fennel, anise, and other herbs. The sweet taste is from the compound Glycyrrhizin, which is fifty times sweeter than sugar. This combination of compounds makes the licorice flavoring that can be found in a multitude of products. It is found in varieties of candy, soft drinks, herbal teas, and even in some medicines to mask an unpleasant taste.

Today, licorice candies can be made in two ways. The first is to pour hot liquid licorice into a cornstarch mold and let cool. The second is to bring the hot liquid licorice, along with other colors and flavors, to a point where it is boiled so much the mixture turns into a dough like consistency. From there, it is stretched and extruded by formers that will give it a unique shape, such as a rope.

There is quite a bit of controversy over the taste of black licorice. It is one of those things that people either love or hate. The haters say that it has chemical smell similar to that of artificial sweeteners, but the lovers just go crazy for that distinct taste.

Fun Fact: National Licorice Day is April 12!


Snickers the Candy (Not the Horse)

Snickers is the most popular candy bar in the whole world and there’s no surprise why. The delicious treat is jam packed with delicious roasted peanuts, sweet gooey caramel, and a crispy nougat, all coated with sweet, decadent milk chocolate.

Snickers was created in 1930 by a man named Frank Mars, who decided to name his candy bar after his horse. However, in the United Kingdom, they would call Snickers bars a Marathon Bar. Just recently did the name become unified throughout the world.  The name of Frank Mars’ family farm in Tennessee, ironically, was named Milky Way. When Snickers was first released, 83 years ago, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding its price. At a time when candy bars cost 5 cents, the Snickers bar was sold for a whopping 20 cents. The candy continued to increase in popularity, and in 1984, Snickers was the official snack sponsor for the Olympic Games, which took place in Los Angeles, California. In 1991, during the first Gulf War, a frozen Snickers bar was sent to every U. S. soldier as a Thanksgiving present.

When I was younger, none of my friends talked about Snickers and it just blended in with other chocolate candies. But ever since their, “You’re not you when you’re hungry campaign,” Snickers seems to be the only chocolate candy people talk about. Whenever I am at football games or special events, the candy I notice everyone buying by far is Snickers. Without fail, Snickers commercials always make me laugh and seem to be the most memorable.

Today, this best selling candy bar brings in over $2 billion annually. Its continued success is attributed not only to its delicious flavors, but the stellar marketing campaigns. For example, the most recent campaign, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” has increased sales by 15.9%. Markets also grew for the billion dollar brand in 56 of their 58 market shares.

Did you ever wonder just how many peanuts are in each Snickers? With 16 peanuts in each chocolate bar, over 100 tons of peanuts are used in the production of 15 million Snickers bars each day. Now, that’s Nuts!







Tootsie(‘s On A) Roll!

“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

     This classic advertisement from the 1970’s shows a variation of our vintage candy for this week- Tootsie Rolls! 64,000,000 Tootsie Rolls are made every day, over 44,440 each minute, and approximately 740 a second.

This 122 year old candy was created by Leo Hirschfield, an Austrian immigrant, in Brooklyn. Hirschfield named his new candy after his daughter, Clara, whose nickname was Tootsie. The Tootsie Rolls began to be delivered by horse and buggy to a great number  households in 1905.  Tootsie Pops were created in 1931 and, still, 87 years later no one knows how many licks it takes to get to the center. They come in flavors such as orange, cherry, grape, and raspberry.  In 1942, Frank Sinatra wowed our grandparents in a Tootsie Roll advertisement. People say that it was his favorite candy and he is rumored that he was buried with them.

     Tootsie Rolls became an alternative to the classic chocolate known and loved by everyone, which would melt at temperatures starting at 85 degrees. This is why Tootsie Rolls became popular in the military. These classic sweets can withstand almost every environment on Earth, so soldiers would bring them as a part of their field rations to boost their morale.

Today, Tootsie Roll Industries has expanded and sells a great variety of candies, including Junior Mints, DOTS, Sugar Babies, Charleston Chews, and Double Bubble. But sadly, sales are not what they used to be for this iconic candy- so let’s go out and get a taste of the candy our great- grandparents ate before it’s too late!


     Tootsie Roll Industries has their own social media pages! Feel free to follow, tweet, and like their pages @TootsieRollIndustries (Facebook), @TootsieRoll (Twitter), and  @tootsieroll (Instagram)!