The Jewish history of Tootsie Rolls and other classic American candy


November 4, 2022

Did you know that some of America's most popular candies (Tootsie Rolls! Peeps! Peanut Chews!) were invented by Jews?

How and why this came to pass is a remarkable tale that needs no sugarcoating.  

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Jewish beet farmers throughout the Russian empire produced the bulk of the sugar necessary to satisfy the high demand of the European market. When many of these impoverished farmers fled their shetls at the turn of the 20th century and immigrated to the United States, they leveraged their sugar-processing skills to find employment in candy factories.

Many went on...

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