Stop the Presses…

We’re on a Roll!

The Tootsie is truly an American institution. This edible icon, the rounded piece of chewy, chocolaty candy still looks and tastes like the very first Tootsie Roll® made over 113 years ago! It was the first “penny” candy to be individually wrapped in paper. And, even more astonishing, is that even after more than a century, this little candy roll, the tootsie remains a “penny” candy!

Looking back at the Tootsie legend:

When Leo Hirschfield hand-rolled the first Tootsie Roll® in 1896, he could not have dreamed that a great confectionery complex was being set in motion.  A young immigrant, newly arrived from Austria, Hirschfield set up a small shop in New York to make candy from a recipe he'd brought from Europe.  He named the candy after his daughter, Clara, whose nickname was Tootsie.” Tootsie Rolls® were an immediate hit with children in New York neighborhoods, and soon became a household name. Its growing popularity continued and in 1922 Tootsie merged with another company and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

During World War II, Tootsie Roll® was one of the few candies that remained in production, because of its "keeping" or long-lasting qualities. Tootsie Roll® went to war in the G.I. rations, valued and used widely by the United States troops for quick energy.

Headquartered in Chicago, Tootsie Roll Industries, its name since 1966, is one of the country's largest candy companies, with operations in the U.S, Mexico and Canada. America (and the world) have quite a sweet tooth, and Tootsie understands this. The company now produces over sixty four million Tootsie Rolls® per day, and has introduced companion products in various sizes, shapes and flavors.

Looking forward at the possibilities:

In April of 1978, Ellen Rubin Gordon was elected President of Tootsie Roll Industries.  At the time, she was only the second woman to be chosen president of a New York Stock Exchange listed company. (Wow!)  And she has been quite successful at that, since Ms. Gordon is still President!

KosherEye was delighted to have an opportunity to interview this pioneering executive and savvy businesswoman!

We asked Ms. Gordon for the reasons the company made the decision to go kosher. She replied, “I am pleased and excited that more people will have the opportunity to enjoy the Tootsie products. Tootsie’s sister products Andes Mints and Cella’s Cherries have been kosher certified for a long time. So this decision was arrived at naturally.” In fact, Ms. Gordon explained, “There were no ingredient changes to make Tootsie Rolls kosher; the primary change is that production is now supervised by the OU.”

And from the OU:

“We are very pleased to have Tootsie Roll® join with other leading confectionery producers who have attained OU certification in recent years. It was also gratifying for OU to guide Tootsie Roll through the certification process and bring these famous candies to the growing kosher market place,” said Rabbi Eliyahu Safran, OU Kosher’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing.

Chew on this:

Yes, Yes, Yes, even without the OU certification mark on the package — and according to the OU, go ahead and enjoy the following Tootsie Industries’ products. The OU mark will appear on new packaging in 2010.  By the way, Tootsie Rolls are dairy.

Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Frooties and DOTS


And last “licks” from our interview:

Coming soon: Tootsie Roll Industries is going to “pop" another big kosher surprise!

Just one more thing:

Tootsie Roll Industries’ products currently certified and labeled kosher by the OK (dairy) include Cella’s dark chocolate covered cherries, Cella’s milk chocolate covered cherries and Andes Candies.

KosherEye  hopes to post a list of all Tootsie Roll Industries’ kosher certified products in 2010! Contact KosherEye to tell us how you enjoy this new chew!

For more information visit Tootsie online, OU Kosher, OK Kosher Certification.


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