[Warning: Today's post is a little bananas.]
Pablo Picasso had his “Blue Period” and Burt Convy’s Tatletales game show had its Banana Section, so perhaps it was destiny that the Tootise company would one day have a “Banana Period” of their own.
If that last sentence is a bit of gibberish to you, I apologize, but this all to bring a little color and attention to a time when the Tootsie company endeavored bring the banana flavor to the forefront with a pair of fun confectionery offerings.
As best as I can determine, sometime around 1990 the Tootise company created a Tootsie Roll Pop or Tootsie Pop-inspired “Banana Pop” and a Tootsie Roll-inspired “Banana Peels” candy.
I first uncovered evidence of what I’m calling Tootsie’s “Banana Period” about three years ago, when I came across a wrapper for Banana Peels. Banana Peels seems to have been a banana-flavored confection served up in a similar Tootsie Roll shape and package. That initial wrapper I found had been trimmed down for someone’s banana-themed scrapbook, but it still included a trio of banana mascots :
I recently found an intact Banana Peels wrapper which is nearly identical to the trimmed version, though it does sport some subtle differences:
As with the standard Tootsie Roll packaging, these sport a bright red stripe on both ends of the wrapper, which makes me suspect that Banana Peels really was essentially a banana Tootsie Roll.
[Editor's Note: Tootsie still makes fruit-flavored Tootsie Roll type confections. They have both Tootsie Fruit Rolls and Tootsie Frooties in various fruit flavors. Though they don't have a dedicated banana flavor, for a time they did offer a Banana-Berry Tootsie Frooties - though that flavor appears to now be discontinued.]
For a long time I had assumed that Banana Peels was a one-off, but then I came across a wrapper for another banana-themed Tootsie product. This one was for a Tootsie Banana Pop, and it shared the banana logo typeface that I’d previously found on the Banana Peels wrapper. Also like Banana Peels, this one includes a couple of fun-loving banana mascots:
At first glance, this might appear to simply be a Banana Tootsie Pop re-branded to give extra attention to the banana flavor, but that isn’t the case. A banana-flavor Tootsie Pop has a banana-flavored lollipop outer and a standard chocolatey Tootsie Roll center. This Tootsie Banana Pop on the other hand features a banana-flavored lollipop candy outer as well as a banana-flavored candy center. You might even go so far as to say that it’s got a Banana Peels center – but I suppose I’m speculating there.
Banana is currently one of the special rotating Tootsie Pop flavors, so you can find them from time-to-time included along with the standard Tootie Pop assortment. For comparison here is a current Tootsie Pop Banana wrapper:
I’ve sampled and enjoyed a number of banana-flavored Tootsie Pops in recent years, but finding this Tootsie Banana Pop wrapper does make me wonder just how a through-and-through Tootsie Banana Pop might be. Who knows, maybe Tootsie will bring something like this back to market again someday. We can hope.
I don’t know exactly how long Tootsie’s Banana Period lasted but it was probably no more than a couple of years. It’s also possible that there were other banana-flavored Tootsie creations that came from this period, but so far these are the only two I’ve found.
And that’s everything for today’s banana-rific post. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Tootsie’s “Banana Period”.
See you next time!