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What are Lollipops?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
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Lollipops are molded or formed pieces of candy, or confectionery, attached to a stick. They are often called suckers. The very basic ingredients needed to make lollipops are sugar, corn syrup, flavor and color. Some lollipops are formed into ball shapes while others are molded. The lollipop sticks must be inserted before the candy hardens.

Lollipop sticks are mostly white and are made of compressed or wrapped paper. The finished paper sticks may have a glossy coating. Basic lollipop wrappers are made from transparent cellophane, but some wrappers are made from colored, wax-coated papers. Lollipops are generally inexpensive and in past decades, some retail shops such as shoe stores and other establishments such as barber shops would give them away to families. Lollipops are still given out to some trick-or-treaters on Halloween and they may also be used in a piñata.

One of the earliest lollipop making machines made 40 lollipops per minute. That machine was invented in 1908 by the Racine Confectioners Machinery Company in Wisconsin. In 1916, Samuel Born, a Russian immigrant, invented a machine that placed sticks into lollipops so that workers wouldn't have to. Today, confectionery factories produce may different shapes, sizes and flavors of lollipops.

Some very large lollipops have coils of candy formed into a large sucker. This type of lollipop is usually extremely colorful and the colorful coils often form a pattern. Some lollipops are sphere-shaped rather than flat and may have a crunchy or soft filling in the center. Flavors used in making lollipops may be artificial and/or natural.

Colors of lollipops usually correspond with their flavors. For example, an orange-colored lollipop is likely to have a sweet fruity orange taste while a purple one is likely to taste like grape. Gourmet lollipops may have natural flavors such as honey, caramel and lemon. Gourmet lollipops may also be available in more exotic flavors such as Piña Colada and/or be made from organic ingredients.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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