Tootsie Rolls were WWII energy bars
Tootsie Rolls were WWII energy bars Tootsie Rolls contain small amounts of cocoa and also an ingredient you might not expect—orange extract. (Matanya/Wikimedia Commons/Apium/flickr)
Tootsie Rolls were WWII energy bars
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On February 23, 1896, a candymaker from Austria named Leo Hirschfield opened his shop in New York City. Maybe you've never heard of him, but you’ve definitely heard of his work.

As the story goes, in that shop Hirschfield came up with one of the twentieth century’s iconic candies: the humble Tootsie Roll. Not long after, seeing how popular his creation was, he merged with Stern & Saalberg Co. to produce the candies on a bigger scale.

The wax-paper-wrapped sweet, produced in NYC beginning in 1905, was the first candy to solve two confectionery issues: although it had a chocolatey taste, the penny candy didn’t melt, and it was individually wrapped.  

Before A/C and refrigerators, candy-sellers spent the hot summers trying to sell candies like taffy and marshmallows, which could stand some heat without melting. Chocolate, on the other hand, was nothing but a sticky mess in the summer weather. “The genius of Tootsie Roll was to create a summer candy that was a flavor never before seen in summer candies, the flavor of chocolate,” writes “Candy Professor” Samira Kawash, who also authored a book about the history of candy.

The patent associated with the Tootsie Roll-making process describes how Hirschfield achieved that hard-but-not-too-hard texture that still characterizes the Tootsie Roll today. Most pulled candies (which the Tootsie Roll is) are “light and porous” after being made, the patent reads. But the Tootsie Roll was baked at a low temperature for about two hours. Afterwards it would be shaped and packaged. The idea was to give the treat “a peculiar mellow consistency” the patent reads, that would help it maintain its shape and not melt.

The Tootsie Roll, whose recipe is basically the same today, wasn’t that chocolatey. But if you had a craving, it was better than anything else on the market. And it was cheap, an important factor in encouraging candy growth. When the Tootsie Pop came along in the early 1930s, writes Retroland, it quickly became a Depression-era favorite.

Then WWII happened. Food historians remember that conflict as a watershed moment in the history of processed food, and the Tootsie Roll (like other nominally chocolate-flavored rations) was right there on the front lines. This gave the candy company an early form of a government contract, writes the Dodge Legal Group, and kept them manufacturing while the war effort shut down many other confectionaries. It also helped cement American affection for the candy.

After the war, the Tootsie Pop had its moment on early television with the iconic advertisement featuring Mr. Owl and friends.

The official Tootsie Roll website says this is 1970 ad was the first to ask the “How Many Licks” question, but by far not the last.

The candy is still around today, even though many other candies invented around the same time have fallen out of style. One such was Bromangelon Jelly Powder. “Jelly desserts were all the rage at the turn of the century,” writes Kawash in a separate piece. “Jell-O is the only one we remember, but around 1900 you could have your pick of such temptations as Jellycon, Tryphora and Bro-Man-Gel-On.”

Based on her investigations, Kawash believes that Hirschfield may have been working for the Stern & Saalberg company well before the invention of his signature candy, and that he also invented Bro-Man-Gel-On/Bromangelon.

A four-syllable name for “Jello”? No wonder it didn’t stick.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/tootsie-rolls-were-wwii-energy-bars/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were people able to enjoy Tootsie Rolls during the summer months?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (58)
  • EthanG-del1
    1/15/2018 - 09:14 p.m.

    This article is about how tootsie rolls were used as energy bars during WW2. I think it is cool that something s ordinary helped soldiers win the war. The bars weren't as chocholatey as they were today but they contained more sugar.

  • GiannaC-del
    1/16/2018 - 01:50 a.m.

    The wax-paper-wrapped sweet, produced in NYC beginning in 1905, was the first candy to solve two confectionery issues. Before A/C and refrigerators, candy-sellers spent the hot summers trying to sell candies like taffy and marshmallows, which could stand some heat without melting. Chocolate, on the other hand, was nothing but a sticky mess in the summer weather. “The genius of Tootsie Roll was to create a summer candy that was a flavor never before seen in summer candies, the flavor of chocolate.”

  • MikhailP-del
    1/16/2018 - 06:32 a.m.

    It is to be used to give them energy when they ate it during world war two. Tootsie rolls now just have became a candy not an energy source.

  • ChloeT-del
    1/16/2018 - 03:50 p.m.

    This article is about the Tootsie Rolls and how they became popular. They are very interesting because they were made in world War 2 and they don't melt in a hot environment. It was very interesting learning about the Tootsie Roll's famous background. They were loved in the past and are still loved today.

  • GabriellaJ-del
    1/16/2018 - 03:54 p.m.

    this article is about the tootsie roll and how it became so famous and what it was used for.

  • SaraM-del
    1/16/2018 - 04:41 p.m.

    This article is about tootsie rolls. They were use as World War 2 energy bars. I thought his article was interesting.

  • GemmaV-del
    1/16/2018 - 04:49 p.m.

    I loved this article it was very interesting to know more about tootsie rolls. I love all these artists you keep giving

  • EvanC-del
    1/16/2018 - 05:20 p.m.

    I really don't like Tootsie Rolls and why would people eat candy they are just gonna get a stomach ache or get a sugar rush. Thats dumb.

  • SophiaD-del1
    1/16/2018 - 06:50 p.m.

    The tootsie roll became a delicious candy of the country. During the summer it didn't melt. During the Great depression, it was cheap so everyone ate it. It also became a war-front snack in World War two, making it a favorite of the whole country.

  • SarahT-del
    1/16/2018 - 06:55 p.m.

    I never liked these candies so its kind of cool learning that they were helpful during a brutal war.

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