So my blind date canceled on me last Saturday night and I found myself standing outside Hernando’s Hideaway next door to the bus station on Chester Ave. looking for some action. It was a cold blustery night, just to increase my chances I wore my opera cape and an eye patch and since I quit smoking I was tearing up the Bazooka Joe like crazy.
I hung around until about tenish, nothing happening so I went home and got myself something to munch on. As I said, I quit smoking recently so I do chew a ton of gum. But what I was amazed by was the amount of gum listed on the ingredients in ordinary food that we eat.
It’s true. Almost anything we eat that is packaged, canned or what ever has some kind of gum in it. I’m not talking about Chiclets or Orbitz or Dentyne, I’m talking about weird gums like gum arabic, gum anima, cassia gum, guar gum locust bean gum and xanthan gum. Most of these gums are used to replace glutens.
The weird thing is that although these gums are widely used in food, none of these ingredients show up in actual gum. They’re not even used in making Gummy Bears.
Chewing gum is made with such natural products as latex, synthetic rubber and polymers with artificial flavors. Gummy Bears contain sugar, starch, gelatin, food coloring and citric acid.
Gum Arabic is a food additive used as a stabilizer. But it is also used in making glue, cosmetics and as a binder in fireworks. Cassia gum is a thickener or a gel agent in food. xanthan gum is a polysaccharide used as a thickening agent and stabilizer in salad dressings, dips and cheese spreads. Also used in food products are locust bean gum, spruce gum and guar gum which is a galactomannan, whatever the hell that is.
But back to the gum, the chewing variety of gum.
As far as blowing bubbles, my pick is the old reliable Dubble-Bubble because it has a more elastic texture for me. Bazooka Joe gets a little dry too quick and baseball card gum just doesn’t cut it for me.
I’ll reach for the Dentyne after a Chicago Dog with double onion and a stick of Orbitz for when I have potty mouth.
But gum for me is more than just an enjoyable chew or a thickening agent in food. I also like to use a pack of gum for amusement. I’ll offer a date a stick of gum and as she pulls out a stick a small rubber spider pops out. I also like to carry a pack of gum with a miniature taser in it to set that tingly feeling to the unsuspecting wannabe gum chewer. Pepper gum is another good one.
But if I feel like that gum taste and sensation and there are no sticks of latex, synthetic rubber and artificially flavored polymers handy I just drink my gum.
Bubble Gum Shooter
1 Oz. Vodka
1 Oz. Banana Liqueur
Dash of Cranberry Juice
Dash of Grenadine
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake well and strain in an over-sized shot glass.
The slideshow and the video lend a hand in exploring the exciting world of gum. Check them out.
Happy chewing everybody.