Saturday, December 31, 2011

"By gum, it's gum"

It all began with the simple placement of this 'delight'ful gum in my Christmas stocking. Historically, I have always loved chewing gum. In my childhood, I craved the taboo sugar-packed kinds like "Hubba Bubba" and "Double Bubble". However, sugar-free bubble gum was oftened purchased in replacement of the cavity creating kind. Unfortunately, sugar-free bubble gum never lasted as long as I wanted to chew it; the gum often becoming tough long before I was ready to discard it. Fast forward to the present and here we are with Wrigley's "Extra Dessert Delights" which upon first chew floods your mouth with a very juicy version of apple pie, no lie. As I chew I am suddenly Violet Beauregarde at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory chewing the "most amazing, fabulous, sensational gum in the whole world." After a little bit of research on Wrigley's website, I discovered the other flavors in their dessert series. More interesting though, is the idea that according to their website, "Extra is available in a variety of distinctive flavors, specifically tailored to local tastes in geographies including, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Taiwan." I'm intrigued, what are these said flavors?

In the meantime, as I ponder what local flavors Australians are finding simulated in their chewing gum, my own children are thoroughly and completely into the joys of chewing gum, as well. They received this sugar-free bubble gum in their stockings and as much as I'd like to buy them some Grape Hubba Bubba, the parent in me thinks of the sugar bugs that will feast on their teeth as they chew. They are so eager to chew, that they look to begin chewing as soon as they wake up in the morning.As always, my thoughts regarding one topic, lead me to discoveries in other areas. In my realm, a simple thing like gum is not fully thought about until I do an image search to see what kind of art can be linked to it. Naturally, gum is no different. There are several artists who have used gum as their medium/subject. The work below, created by Roland Hicks, captures the action of stepping in gum. Although it may look like a photograph, it is actually an oil painting. This particlar series was humorous to me in that, despite my love for chewing gum, I hate stepping in gum. To my chagrin, it seems to be an annoyance that occurs far too often to me.

Continueing with our tales of art and gum, Ben Wilson is another artist who uses gum as a component of his art. At first sight, he looks like someone who might not be well. But, in fact, laying on the ground, he paints miniscule paintings on the surface of gum that has been discarded and therefore stuck to the asphalt by any number of passers by.

As much as I despise touching discarded gum underneath a table, I am willing to overlook this in order to answer Violet Beauregarde's question, "What's so fab about it?" From flavor sensations, to fresh breath, to contemporary art, gum has the ability to create intriguing sensory experiences for all whom choose to unwrap the possibilities.


  1. Sounds like you need to plan a world tour to find all of the dessert flavored gums, though I'd be worried about what passes for "dessert" in some countries...

  2. Amy, I will keep my eye out for that type of gum here...we have some bizarre flavors of things (like salami pringles) so I'm sure I can track something down. If I find it I'll message you so I can send you some :) Kai is my gum lover and Lane has just mastered the art of not swallowing her gum. Kai got a bubble gum factory kit for Christmas and we are eager to make our own gum :)

  3. Becky, I would certainly appreciate it if you could
    track some down...that would be such a fun little home lesson; and a bubble gum kit sounds right up our alley. Let me know how the results turn out.