Flavour Revolution – Bubble Gum

Chewy Commemorations

Bubble gum always gets me feeling a little nostalgic. I really don’t chew it anymore and even if I do, it’s of the adult-flavoured un-fun variety. Let’s look back at some of the best brands from back in the day:

Dubble Bubble

Do you remember how amazing it was to stick your head in the Dubble Bubble 500-piece bucket and inhale!? What the company never told people is that that experience probably gave youth their very first high! I remember one time when I was young and dumb (as opposed to my current status of older and still dumb) and we were eating so much of the gum that I actually got a chewing headache. We were making gum sandwiches – a piece of gum, wrapped by two other pieces of gum – and popping the stuff like it was the last of its kind. In our frenzy, we didn’t even bother reading those amazing comics attached to the candy… yes, that was sarcasm!

Dubble Bubble Basketball

Big League Chew

The gateway gum to chewing tobacco! In actuality, it was a baseball player (minor leaguer Rob Nelson) that came up with the product, hoping to provide teammates with an option to nasty and health-hazardous chaw. He may not have ever hit the pros, but Nelson should be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his invention. The flavour names for Big League Chew were pretty creative. You had stuff like Outta Here Original, Ground Ball Grape, Curveball Cotton Candy, Slammin’ Strawberry, Swingin’ Sour Apple, and Wild Pitch Watermelon, all to go along with the baseball theme.

Thrills

I have never been able to explain my affinity for this gum. I mean, who really wants to put something in their mouth that tastes like soap? That’s supposed to be a punishment for swearing! Yet, I will happily pick up a pack of Thrills when I can find one. And the company is proud of the flavour – described as floral rosewater – branding its packaging with the slogan: “It still tastes like soap!”

Bubble Tape/Bubble Jug

These two unique delivery devices changed the bubble gum game and shook the industry to its core… okay, that may be a little overdramatic, but the products definitely put a new spin on how kids enjoyed their chewing. Bubble Tape was like having a six-foot tape measure that you could eat. There was even a mega roll, measuring 10 feet of chewing pleasure. As for Bubble Jug, I never could figure out their formula (I’m no Walter White… and that’s probably a good thing!), but somehow this fine powder would turn into a wad of bubble gum. Sure, the container sent the odd (and perhaps dangerous) message that you could consume what was in a laundry detergent-looking bottle, but whateves.

Bubble Tape

Card Pack Gum

How cool was it to not only get a pack of cards (sports, TV shows, movies, bands, otherwise), but also receive a little bonus treat with your collectable memorabilia? Depending on how old the pack of cards was, you were in for a stiff chewing experience! I bet someone out there chipped a tooth on this stuff at some point. For those that still have unopened packs of Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Bowman, Fleer, etc. for collecting purposes, that gum has to be at least four decades old, likely made with materials that are now banned by food and drug administrations. Now, that sounds like a fun experiment in stupidty!

Hubba Bubba

You could blow some pretty massive bubbles with these soft-chew pieces… and thanks to being less sticky than other varieties, folks didn’t have to worry about getting the gum stuck all over their face, hair, or worse. What that “worse” could be is totally up to your imagination. Perhaps the best thing about Hubba Bubba products was their overwhelming flavours, which actually lasted quite long and smelled great, even while still wrapped up.

Flavour Revolution: Purple Chew

Purple Chew Martini

Some chewable mentions go to Chiclets, Gold Nuggets, Fruit Stripe, GatorGum (the gum for athletes), and Blow Pops. Thank god there’s now a bubble gum-flavoured vodka, allowing us all to go back to our childhoods and chewing memories. At least with this version, we’re able to swallow the gum and not worry about it staying in our stomachs for years!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This recipe calls for the Three Olives Purple Vodka (grape flavoured), but since I didn’t have it on hand and really wanted to take a crack at the cocktail, I went with Grape Soda instead. This is actually the first time I have ever used Grape Soda on this site! The drink came together pretty well with a nice mixture of bubble gum and grape… likely exactly what they were going for!

Advertisements

November 6 – Dubble Bubble

Chewing Good

I recently bought Mrs. Sip a bottle of Bubble Gum Vodka… okay, busted… it was for me, just as much as for her, but in my defense, I’ve never tasted it until making this drink, while Mrs. Sip is a fan of the fun spirit. Here are some other bubble gum facts to be enjoyed with this cocktail:

Gum Riddle

People who spell words like “gross” wrong make ME sick!

People have been chewing gum for over 5,000 years. The product was first made using natural latex (so, like chewing on a condom) and later a synthetic rubber (so, like chewing on a condom!).

Bubble gum was first invented by Walter E. Diemer, an accountant for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company, who was experimenting with new recipes. That’s a diehard accountant for you. This is the product that eventually became Dubble Bubble. The colour pink was chosen because it was the only dye available to Diemer, as well as being his favourite hue. This dude would have done quite well with the ladies, thanks to his dedication to his job and love to the rosy colour.

Sugar-free gum has been shown to reduce cavities and plaque and can actually help patients recovering from abdominal and gastrointestinal surgeries, as it helps with removing obstructions. Gum can also be beneficial with gastro-esophageal reflux disease because people chewing the candy swallow more, which neutralizes the acid on the esophagus. Plus, they’ll also have minty-fresh breath!

Gum Comic

The Guinness World Record for biggest bubble blown is 23 inches, produced by Susan Williams of Fresno, California. Apparently the naughty girl used her hands to hold the massive bubble, as there is also a record for not using supports. Chad Fell produced this record with a 20-inch blow. And yes, I meant for that to sound dirty!

Gum isn’t all good, though, as there are many negative aspects to the products.

Swallowing gum may not reside in your stomach for seven years, as the old urban legend stated, but it can’t be digested and will pass through your system as is. I leave that to your own imagination.

Never Swallow Gum

Also, remember when you were a little sipper and gum was outlawed in elementary school? Well, it was also banned in Singapore in 1983 as the city-state grew tired of the cost of cleaning the sticky substance, as well as the possible dangers the discarded gum presented.

And doesn’t everybody hate getting gum stuck to the bottom of your shoes or reaching beneath a seat or table and touching someone’s discarded gum wad? One study found that 250,000 pieces of gum were stuck to the ground on Oxford Street, in London.

chew-bubble-gum-kick-ass

Other gum facts:

There are two famous bubble gum “art” areas in the United States, where tourists stick a piece of their gum among the millions of pieces fossilized in the region: Bubble Gum Alley in San Luis Obispo, California and the Gum Wall in Seattle, Washington (I’ve seen this one personally and it’s actually pretty gross… not even my bachelor party inebriation could mask my disgust). Somehow, the areas have become tourist attractions and popular stops for wedding photos!

In Africa, gum is sometimes used as a dowry payment for a wife, as opposed to sheep and oxen. It took me two tubs of Dubble Bubble for Mrs. Sip’s father to permit me to marry her… he wanted three, but I bartered him down!

Drink #310: Dubble Bubble

Dubble Bubble Martini

  • 1.5 oz Bubble Gum Vodka
  • Top with Jones Bubble Gum Soda
  • Garnish with Pieces of Gum

What is your favourite bubble gum-related fact? I wish you all the best in your chewing endeavours!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This martini was in fact a Triple Bubble, thanks to my garnishing of the drink with a spear of Dubble Bubble gum pieces. I offered it to Mrs. Sip and she liked it, being a fan of the Bubble Gum Vodka. She didn’t even know a product like Jones Bubble Gum Soda existed, but that’s part and parcel of my job… bring little known ingredients to the masses attention!

October 26 – Bazooka Joe

Tales from the Candy-keeper

There are numerous urban legends based on candy. Here are some of the juicier tales out there:

Recharge on Mars

Rockers sure know how to party. That’s why this legend involving Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger, singer Marianne Faithfull, and a Mars chocolate bar persisted for so long. When a party at guitarist Keith Richards’ home was broken up by police, rumours began flying that Jagger was interrupted while eating a Mars bar that was inside Ms. Faithfull (I’ll let your imaginations put that one together). The story was entirely untrue, but I bet Mars bar sales skyrocketed, with deprived lovers looking to spice up their sex life!

Mick Jagger

You’re right, Mick! It is a pretty funny story!

Pop Rock N’ Roll

As the story goes, if you mix Pop Rocks with Cola, this diabolic concoction would cause you to explode. The legend was enhanced when people claimed that Mikey, the Life Cereal ad campaign kid (you know, “Hey, Mikey likes it!”) was an original victim of the blast. A similar tale has recently surrounded Mentos and Cola, because the two products do combine to create fizz and can launch a bottle into orbit. The cute Pepsi girl of the 90’s was said to be a casualty. In both cases, no one has actually died from ingesting the two items together.

Hole-in-One

Creator Clarence Crane was said to have designed Life Savers with a hold in the middle after his daughter tragically died choking on a candy. The hole was to allow oxygen to pass through a person’s body, even if stuck in one’s throat. The reality, however, is quite a bit different. Crane fashioned his new invention after the floatable inner tubes that were becoming all the rage following the Titanic disaster in 1912.

All Wrapped Up

Legend had it, that if you found an image of Indian, complete with bow and arrow, on your Tootsie Roll or Pop wrapper, you would be the recipient of any number of prizes, ranging from Tootsie treats for life to a new bicycle to unimaginable wealth and celebrity (I added that last one myself!). I would have loved to have found that Indian, as I very much enjoy the Tootsie products. Sadly, the story is completely fabricated.

tootsie pop wrapper

Jaw Dropper

It’s hard to believe this one is actually true, but it has been verified by the fine folks at MythBusters. If you place one of those massive jawbreakers in the microwave it will explode. Why someone would ever put a jawbreaker into the microwave is a yet-to-be answered question, but here’s my theory: why not. Those jawbreakers are a pain in the ass (or more aptly, mouth) to get through and perhaps someone tried to accelerate the process.

Spider Yum

When Bubble Yum gum hit the market and became quite popular, stories began to circulate that the gum contained such grossities as spider eggs, spider legs, or spider webbing. These were all probably started by a rival gum company in hopes of curtailing the popularity of the world’s first soft gum. Bubble Yum’s parent company fought these rumours publicly with full-page newspaper ads ensuring people of the quality of their product. Most people actually listened and Bubble Yum lived on.

Bubble Yum Spiders

Razor’s Edge

Remember when we were all wee little sippers and when we returned home our parents sifted through our well-earned Halloween stash (probably contemplating which treats they’d take for themselves) to make sure there was no evidence of tampering? Good thing they did. In 2000, James Joseph Smith stuck needles into Snickers bars he planned to hand out and one boy bit into the chocolate bar. Smith was arrested and charged with adulterating a substance with the intent to cause harm… asshole!

Pick Your Poison

Similarly, the threat of poisoned candy given out at Halloween has always existed, but the only evidence of this occurring happened when some sick bastards poisoned their own children, including one loser who laced his kid’s Pixy Stix with cyanide to collect a $20,000 life insurance policy. Most cases were just overeating by the public (no surprise there) and not waiting to hear the actual results of why someone became sick.

Drink #299: Bazooka Joe

Bazooka Joe Shooter

  • Rim glass with Bubble Gum
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao

Are there any candy urban legends you’d like to pass my way? I’m a skeptical one, but I’ll give it a chance!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I liked this shooter and always have. Truth be known, when I was taken out on my 19th birthday for my first legal drinks, this was the first shot that was ever ordered for me. I still marvel at how these three ingredients combine to fake the taste of bubble gum, but somehow it all comes together.