I received a mass email from my American rabbi today. In a press release dated December 2, the Orthodox Union announced that it is now certifying as kosher Tootsie Rolls.
To those who did not grow up with the chewy, gooey confection, I pity you. They were a favorite Halloween treat, and one which could keep one chewing delightedly for a good ten minutes. They were put in the centers of Tootsie Pops, so one could enjoy a tangy lollipop, with a chocolatey chew chaser. For a while they sold kits so kids could soften the Tootsie Rolls and put them into fun molds for an almost candy-making experience. And when they came out with Giant Tootsie Rolls, it was just gilding the lily. (One big one instead of a couple of handfuls of little ones, I guess.)
It was big news when Oreos became kosher. (Though I admit I always preferred Hydrox to Oreos; guess the lard didn’t do as much to the taste as the kosher crowd imagined it did.) But in my opinion, since there has never (to my knowledge) been anything to serve as a kosher substitute for Tootsie Rolls, this is possibly even bigger news. What remains to be seen is if they will import them to Israel as an alternative to the horrid goos, gums, chews, and other sugary rubbish they sell here.
*Sigh.* One small step for the OU, but one giant step for the kosher Yid.