EXPOSED! – Tootsie Roll Pops!

My Exposed! Series tackles a vexing subject each month and scientifically dismantles it. We’ve done Chapstick tubes and Pez Candy Dispensers so far. This month we tackle the age old question of “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” You know the genesis of this test:

Clearly the owl’s answer of three licks is not scientifically defendable. Challenge accepted. First, some experiment rules and then two actual results.

We will only execute licks, not sucks, as that is the stated parameter. Sucks would yield faster results but unquantifiable data. Licks can be counted but your results may vary depending on tongue size, shape or viscosity. No biting permitted.

My assumption was that there was a definable globe shaped Tootsie Roll center to the Tootsie Pop. I intended to lick off all candy coating surrounding that globe. However, there was a twirl of Tootsie Roll interspersed with candy at the center, not the cleanly defined shape expected. Thus, licks after a period of time including diminution of the Tootsie Roll center and no clean discovery after all. That’s science for you, it often raises more questions than it resolves.

I started tasting Tootsie Roll flavor at about 400 licks. From that point it was a mix of Tootsie and Candy until the entire concoction disappeared at 1400 licks. Yep, I counted and recorded every one!

So if you want another everyday mystery resolved, let me know and I will do everything I can to scientifically research the matter next month. Leave a comment below. Yep, I have that much time on my hands.

As always you can find more on and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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