Editor's note: Every weekday in October, the Serious Eats editors and staff will chat about a candy they loved as kids (or love today). Artificial colors encouraged, no organic chocolate allowed.
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a See's Lollypop? Answer me that, Mr. Owl. Because it's not a one.. a two-hoo.. a tha-three.. in this case.
Try biting a See's lolly, Mr. Owl. (Hopefully you have dental insurance because you'll need Dr. Owl if you try.) Unlike other lollypops, the See's version is pretty un-bite-able, and it'll take more like two hundred licks to get anywhere near the center stick.
The lolly blocks are so dense with sweet, lickable flavor, most people need a break before finishing a whole one. I never throw away the shiny wrapper because it's essential to rest on during the lolly intermissions, when the overworked salivary glands need some downtime.
It comes with being born a Californian to love See's. And it's impossible to leave a See's without at least one lolly. Caramel, Butterscotch, and Chocolate are classic flavors. Cafe Latte is another popular one (my Mom's favorite, even though she's never been a regular coffee drinker, just a coffee-flavored fan). Vanilla tastes like frosting in hard candy form.
But during fall, See's releases the annual Pumpkin lolly. Does it taste like pumpkin? As much as pumpkin lattes, pumpkin ice cream, and most other pumpkin treats taste like pumpkin. So, no, not really. It's of course super sweet but it does make you happy, the way that Halloweentime orange-flavored things just do.
If you're a sucker (har har) for pumpkin anything this time of year, you'll enjoy this long-lasting lolly.