Tag Archives: candy


Dessert is a good time to get the children’s attention for a little math talk.

A few weeks back, a smallish serving of M&Ms was about to be given to each child, from a large one-pound bag.

In keeping with my assertion that a day should never pass without asking my kids at least one how many? question, I asked Griffin to choose the size of the serving (but unbeknownst to him that this was the purpose.)

Me: Give me a number between 10 and 20.

Griffin (eight years old): What’s the point?

Me: I won’t tell you until you choose.

G: I won’t until I know why.

Me: Tabitha, pick a number between 10 and 20.

Tabitha (five years old): Twelve.

Me: OK. That’s how many M&Ms you each get for dessert.

G: Oh, then I pick 20.

Me: No. The first number I heard. That’s the one I’m using.

G: You should use the biggest.

Me: Nope. The first.

T: Next time, I should choose….thirteen.

This is beautiful, is it not?

I love the realization that things had not worked out for her maximal benefit. I love that she knows some thinking needs to be applied to the situation.

And I love dearly that the result of this thinking is an increase of a single M&M.

G: No! It’s between 10 and 20!

T: Oh. I should choose…nineteen.


Important information about Tootsie Rolls

You should know that the segments of a Tootsie Roll are called “Ootsies”.

You should know further that an Ootsie is a unit not just of length but of time.

And you should know that, while a standard full-sized Tootsie Roll presently consists of nine Ootsies, there was a time when it was seven Ootsies.

Behold the seven-Ootsie Tootsie. You can learn all everything you want to know about Ootsies by clicking through to the Tootsie Roll Industries website. “Ootsie Tootsies” is the last commercial in the gallery. It is worth your time.

You should know that I have the crack candy-research staff here at OMT investigating whether present day Ootsies are smaller, or present day Tootsies larger as a result of this change (with an understanding that we need to reject one or neither of these hypotheses, and that rejecting both is impossible).

You should know that, presently for sale at Cub Foods in St Paul, MN are “Vintage Tootsie Rolls”. These have the old-style lettering on the packaging, but the packaging is otherwise very much modern, not vintage.

Finally, you should know that these vintage Tootsie Roll are partitioned into fourteen Ootsies.