Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Chewing gum is hard to make and takes a good deal of time and care. Most twenty-first-century gum is made with three basic ingredients: gum base, softener, and flavoring. These are heated, cooled, kneaded, formed, coated, and conditioned. Chewing gum comes in stick, tablet, flake, nugget, powder, and paste form. Masticating merriment ensues when it is fancifully packaged to resemble everyday articles like checkbooks, tubs of sidewalk chalk, combination locks, and laundry soap. Artists like Betty Ruth Curtiss, Hannah Wilke, and Ben Wilson use chewing gum as their medium, and Angela Lorenz has published a book made of chewing gum titled Chewing Tzu, The Rumination Book.