The Way Gum Used to Be – Glee Gum

Another sponsor sneak peek preview for our “Help for the Holidays” Giveaway Event next week (over $700 in prizes).

Did you know that before WWII gum manufacturers used chicle instead of synthetic rubber to make chewing gum?  The art of making gum with natural chicle was long lost until Glee Gum brought it back to life.

What is chicle? Chicle is the sap that is harvested from the Sapodilla tree that grows in the rainforests of Central America.  By using this harvested rainforest chicle, Glee Gum provides a sustainable subsistence for the people living in that area.  I highly recommend reading the fun history of gum and the process of making gum starting from the tapping the Sapodilla trees on Glee Gum’s website.

Glee Gum is the only healthy alternative to synthetic gum in the US, so you can “chew Glee-fully.”  It’s made with all natural ingredients and is free of wheat, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, dairy, nut, yeast, and egg.

Glee Gum provided us with samples of their gum and a Make Your Own Gum Kit for review purposes. The gum comes in 6 flavors (cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, tangerine, bubblegum, and triple berry), though the kit actually has an additional one, cherry, that is not sold separately.

THE GUM

What did we think about the gum itself?  It really didn’t taste much different than other gum, and the flavors are pretty fantastic.  Don’t expect the flavoring to last a long time like you would a stick of “Extra,” for instance, but I actually really enjoyed it.  It remains chewy longer than most, and I am sure that is attributed to the natural chewiness of the cliche.  I actually chewed one piece for about an hour and it defeated me in the end.  It was still quite chewy and it left my jaw sore!  Packets of this gum would make awesome stocking stuffers for the entire family.

THE KIT

When making the gum in the kit, I highly suggest that you take off your rings and cut your nails short, as it does get super sticky (as one would expect).  At one point in the beginning of the process, I panicked at how sticky my hands were.  But as I worked the glob into the sugar and it had time to cool down a bit, the stickiness factor wasn’t quite as bad as it had been originally.  Now, let me clarify why I panicked (this is also the reason why I didn’t get any pictures of the process) – I was the only adult present with an eager 3 year old and a needy and curious 10 month old tugging on my leg and trying to get my attention at all costs.  I had no idea how I was supposed to get my hands unglued if the baby came into danger.

Back to the process…

It took 25 minutes from start to finish (I used the faster method by microwave rather than stovetop).  Add another 10 for clean-up, which wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be.  Easy peasy!  Really.

While my son is still a little young to fully participate, I still wanted to share the experience with him because he is such a gum lover.  In fact, even at 3 he really enjoyed watching, smelling, tasting, rolling, and feeling the gum in the various stages of the process.  It did take a bit longer than I expected after reading the super simple instructions, but maybe it was due to my “limitations” (i.e. children).

During the process, I chewed a tiny bit of the chicle gum base plain and actually prefer it that way – without the sugar and flavoring!  But we did end up adding the two flavors that were included (cherry and cinnamon) for my son’s sake.  According to Glee Gum’s FAQs, you can experiment with flavors, adding your own from flavored extracts, Jell-O packets or Kool-Aid.  Maybe next time.

After getting it all rolled out and ready for cutting into strips, my son decided that he wanted to make gumball-shaped gum instead.  The kit made about 10 larger-sized balls.  The end result, of course, didn’t look so great, as I am by no means an expert and we didn’t have the nice colorful coating on our homemade version.  However, as I am fully aware, looks aren’t everything… it tasted just as good as the store-bought version.  And the process was amazing to be able to share with my child.  Our gum-chewing expert was definitely captivated.  While it was fun and I would absolutely love to try the other two kits Glee Gum sells, I won’t be trying this while my husband is out of town again.

The kits are perfect for the upcoming holiday season.  It can keep the older kids (and guests) fully occupied and entertained with minimal intervening from you (maybe just during the clean-up).  Buy one of their educational make-it-yourself kits to make chocolate (this is the one I really want to try), gum or gummies for only $13.  You can also purchase gum in one of their 6 flavors in packets, loose or in bulk.

OR you can WIN a kit of your choice (US Residents only) during our “Help for the Holidays” Giveaway Event next week.

BONUS TIME: Tell me ONE step in the process of making gum from Glee Gum’s website (Hint: click on one of the 23 squares to read a step)

Disclaimer: The sample product(s) reviewed was provided free of charge. NoM was under no obligation to review it if we so chose, nor was NoM under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of NoM, and are completely honest and without influence. NoM has reviewed this product(s) because we like it and think it would benefit our readers. To view our full policy, please click here.

Comments

  1. 1

    Hi. I enjoyed your review! My kids would love the gum making kit. I hope it is ok that I share this information I found about Glee Gum yesterday after buying a pack. Maybe I’m over-reacting, but I was really surprised to find out that this product labeled “all-natural” contains synthetic materials. I’ve read review after review of this amazing “all-natural” gum that is a healthy alternative to the synthetic gum out there.

    I think it’s great that they are the only company in the US using rainforest chicle in their products but the truth is, they don’t share what percentage of chicle they use in their gum base mix. It could be 5%, it could be 75% – but according to their website, it is clearly not 100%. More importantly, how much synthetic material is in the gum and WHAT IS IT that I’m chewing?

    What I did find on their website is that their gum base is a combination of chicle, natural and synthetic materials. I believe that would make the gum “mostly-natural” but certainly not “all-natural.”

    Here is the link to their FAQ section on their gum base: http://www.gleegum.com/faqs.htm#What_is_in_your_gum_base

    Thanks for listening! -Chris

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