Monday, September 24, 2007

Tootsie Rolls & Fruit Rolls

Tootsie Fruit Rolls PackageThe funny thing about fall is that I always see the Tootsie Roll products around a lot more starting at Back to School. The amusing part is that Tootsie Rolls and the Tootsie Fruit Rolls are so well suited to the summer because of their durability.

The Tootsie Roll has been around for a long time, first manufactured in 1896, the chocolate taffy was named after Leo Hirshfield’s (the founder of the candy company) daughter. The chocolate taffy was a good alternative to regular chocolates which didn’t keep very well in the years before widespread refrigeration and air conditioning. Though the Tootsie Roll is associated with the Chicago area (which is known as a center of candy production in the United States), the factory was originally located in New York City and then Hoboken, not making the shift to the Midwest until 1966. (Read more on the history of the Tootsie Roll here.)


Tootsie Rolls come in many sizes, from a large log of a bar down to the Midgies, which I think is probably the best format. They’re still wrapped in the same waxed paper (though the larger logs have shifted to the fully sealed plastic wrap).

Tootsie Roll had one of the most identifiable jingles of its era.

The world looks mighty good to me
‘cause Tootsie Rolls are all I see

Whatever it is I think I see
Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

Tootsie Roll how I love your chocolatey chew
Tootsie Roll I think I’m in love with you

Whatever it is I think I see
Becomes a Tootsie Roll to me

The Tootsie Roll itself is simply a very dense and smooth taffy with a good boost of chocolate in it. The chew is long and smooth, though sometimes hard to get going. The flavor is not necessarily creamy or complex, just sweet and often tasting more of musty cardboard than hot cocoa (depending on how fresh it is). I don’t usually have high expectations for Tootsie Rolls, so I’m never disappointed.

The good thing about the chew is that it’s not sticky like some taffy can be, it’s also not fluffy and not overly sweet. It’s lower in fat than regular chocolate bars (but still has about 3 grams per serving.)

imageThe Fruit Rolls are a little harder to find on a regular basis. They come with five flavors: Orange, Cherry, Lemon, Lime and Vanilla.

Yes, that last one is Vanilla. Last time I checked that’s not a fruit flavor. The Vanilla are also available in a single-flavor bag as well. I’ve always called these Midgees, which I think is the smallest Tootsie Roll in the line. (Well, except for the Chocolate Covered Tootsie Rolls that came out last year.) But these weren’t called Midgees on the bag, go figure.

imageHey, it’s a flavorless Tootsie Roll! That’s always how I viewed them. Like they were for Boys in Plastic Bubbles or those allergic to chocolate taffy or perhaps just exceptionally bland. The child that picked out the Vanilla Midgee first over all other candies in a bowl was suspect in my world. It just screamed “I lack adventure and imagination” and while that’s fine for them, it didn’t make me want to spend time with them.

The good thing about encountering such as child is the prospect of trading ... so there’s something to be said for being the kind of kid with such diverse friends, it meant that everyone always got what they wanted.

The Vanilla Midgee is sweet and smells strongly of fake vanilla and a bit like an ice cream parlor. The chew is stiff at first but softens up quickly in the mouth. Not too sticky, not too sweet. Not terribly flavorful.

Lemon Tootsie Roll  Cherry Tootsie Roll  Orange Tootsie Roll  Lime Tootsie Roll

The Lemon Tootsie Roll is really quite pleasant. The chew is soft and tangy and has a nice smooth quality to it. It’s just the slightest bit milky, in a yogurt kind of way.

The Cherry Tootsie Roll is like a chewable cough drop. Not terribly strong, but a well rounded cherry flavor with a long-lasting flavor in the chew. A little bitter bite for me, but I think that’s the coloring.

The Orange Tootsie Roll used to be my favorite. Probably a sad substitute for a Starburst, these don’t have any gelatin in them, so certainly more suitable for those on animal restricted diets. It tastes like a decent orange sherbet. A little tart, but mostly orange.

The Lime Tootsie Roll was best saved for last or left sitting in the candy bowl after Halloween to show my mother that I had some self restraint ... though eventually it’d end up in my tummy.

On the whole, I think the only Tootsie Roll I like much is the regular chocolate one. The rest are probably not a very good replacement for Starbursts (but if you’ve never had them, I suppose I can tell you that they’re EXACTLY the same and you’d never know the difference ... except that I wouldn’t steer you wrong like that). They’re definitely inexpensive and great traveling candy. Middle of the road fare, I’m glad they’re around and rather fun to look at but best covered in hard candy with a stick in them. (Why don’t they make vanilla centered orange Tootsie Pops? That’d be just like a Creamsicle!)

Related Candies

  1. Tootsie Pops - Regular & Super Sized
  2. Starburst Berries & Creme and Fruit & Creme
  3. Space Food Sticks
  4. Tootsie Roll Mini Chews
Name: Tootsie Rolls & Tootsie Fruit Rolls
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Tootsie
Place Purchased: Target (Eagle Rock)
Price: $1.50 (on sale)
Size: 11.5 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Chew, United States, Tootsie

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:40 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Hey! I always pick the vanilla ones first!

    In fact, when I was back visiting in the States in August, I bought a whole bag of the fruit midges at a dollar store JUST so I could get the vanilla ones. mmm. I’m also quite partial to the lemon, but we didn’t even bother to pick up a bag of the standard chocolate Tootsie Rolls.

    And thanks for the jingle lyrics. I was trying to sing it to some English friends the other day and couldn’t quite get the “chocolatey chew” line right. wink

    Comment by melissa on 9/24/07 at 2:50 am #
  2. they also make frooties, which are the standard Tootsie Roll taffy, but with a wider range of flavors like lime cola and grape and green apple (off the top of my head). You mainly find these in large 3-5 lb bags and from vendors like Oriental Trading.  But in the last month or so, here in the Plains, they’ve had larger versions (candy bar size) of the grape and green apple for sale in convenience stores.  I much prefer these over the Laffy Taffy alternative (and I really miss Tangy Taffy).

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 9/24/07 at 3:01 am #
  3. I just heard that they are making sugar-free chocolate tootsie rolls, but cant find any,  got any thoughts? thanks… love those little things! lol

    Comment by patti on 9/24/07 at 4:13 am #
  4. Wow, I always thought the fruit flavored ones were new, as I never heard of them growing up and only started seeing them within the past…five years or so.

    I love chocolate Tootsie Rolls, though, always have.

    Comment by Grace on 9/24/07 at 5:57 am #
  5. I like the original chocolate tootsie rolls, and the vanilla ones too, but I’m not crazy about the fruit ones.  But then again, I’m not crazy about Starburst either! 

    A vanilla-centered orange tootsie pop.. Wow, that’s something I would really like to try!

    Comment by Alicia on 9/24/07 at 6:34 am #
  6. OH NO! I always pick the vanilla first! I love those! I do like the orange ones too. But vanilla FIRST! smile

    Comment by Shannon on 9/24/07 at 2:31 pm #
  7. I loved these!  They hold a special place in my heart because the only time I ever had them was on Halloween (for some reason, I’ve never seen them in stores, only in neighbors’ plastic pumpkins).  I loved the chewy, fruity, (a bit tart, no?) flavor and their utter specialness.  I can still picture them sprinkled in my mound of loot from the long Beggars’ Night.  Ah, sweet memories.

    Comment by Jenny on 9/24/07 at 5:06 pm #
  8. I have special memories of Tootsie Rolls developed during my college years.  At the College of Wooster, you have to do 3 semesters of Independent Study to graduate (basically, do a Master’s project and thesis for your BA or BS!).  When you turn in your IS by 4pm the Monday after Spring Break, you got a button with the number of your turn-in and a mid-sized Tootsie Roll.  I still have my wrapper wink

    Comment by Beth on 9/25/07 at 7:39 am #
  9. I had a long-held fond memory of colored tootsie rolls - and then I found them at a local by-the-pound store, and they did not live up to my memory. I do like them, though. Except not the ‘vanilla’ ones. As far as I’m concerned, their only valid use is to serve as snow-covered logs when decorating gingerbread houses!

    Comment by Tricia on 9/25/07 at 9:43 am #
  10. P.S. botanically, vanilla comes from a bean of an orchid, so it’s a seed pod - so maybe it is a fruit?? But you’re right, all technicalities aside, I never think of “vanilla” as “fruit flavor”.

    Comment by Tricia on 9/25/07 at 9:45 am #
  11. The best part about the lime Tootsies is that they sort of approximate—just a (s)midge—the flavor of the dearly departed lime Starburst.

    Comment by Hilary on 9/25/07 at 10:46 am #
  12. Funny, but I tried the fruit tootsie rolls for the first time a few days before this review came out. I was so surprised that they were tart. I guess all these years avoiding them at Halloween, I thought they’d be just sweet. I can’t stand lemon without the tart. Even so, I’ll stick to chocolate smile.

    Comment by Kate on 9/25/07 at 10:49 am #
  13. Could somebody explain to me if there’s actually any difference between these “Limited Edition Vanilla Midgee” Tootsie Rolls and the vanilla-flavored Fruit Rolls?

    Comment by Theresa on 10/22/07 at 3:37 am #

    Comment by SARAH on 10/31/07 at 3:25 pm #
  15. Yes, SARAH. Partially hydrogenated _____ oil will kill you slowly. Dun, dun, dun…

    Comment by ^_^ on 11/03/07 at 12:03 pm #
  16. Actually, Theresa, there’s no difference. I’ve tried them and looked at the ingredients on the wrapper of both of them, and they’re exactly the same.

    Comment by ^_^ on 11/03/07 at 12:04 pm #
  17. I like the fruit assortment much better than regular Tootsies.  The vanilla ones used to be my favorite, though the recent batch I had of them tasted a bit too artificial.  The orange also tasted like it had a bit of original Tootsie chocolate mixed in.  On the bright side, the cherry was delicious!  I normally hate cherry candy, but it was sweet and berry-like, with no hint of cough syrup.  I love them all!

    Comment by Elsa on 2/21/08 at 5:14 am #
  18. Back in the ‘70’s there was a tootsie roll candy press (in the shape of frankenstein and dracula).  With the Halloween season around the corner, I was wondering if there is one still out there…

    Comment by Shari Judson on 9/14/08 at 5:20 pm #
  19. ok well i have a question….how many grams of sugar are there in a SINGLE tootsie roll?????

    Comment by dillon on 11/02/08 at 2:30 pm #
  20. I need a recipe for vanilla tootsie rolls!!!!!!

    Comment by Melissa on 11/28/08 at 7:25 am #
  21. I agree with you about the vanilla centered orange tootsie pop. My favorite are the orange, but I especially like to eat an orange with a vanilla. Yumm! It tastes like a creamsicle!

    Comment by thingtwo on 12/14/08 at 4:54 pm #
  22. “The child that picked out the Vanilla Midgee first over all other candies in a bowl was suspect in my world. It just screamed ?I lack adventure and imagination? and while that?s fine for them, it didn?t make me want to spend time with them.”

    Yes! I adore you.

    Comment by Richie Beck on 5/17/09 at 8:02 am #
  23. I am totally oblivious, I guess.  When year did Tootise start making fruit rolls?

    Comment by Penny Fields on 12/13/13 at 10:35 am #
  24. I love all, except for the original and the lime. I don’t know what it is about lime, but it’s a little strong for my taste.

    Comment by Rebecca on 1/22/14 at 8:41 am #
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