THE CHEWING GUM OF THE AMERICAS, FROM THE ANCIENT MAYA TO WILLIAM WRIGLEY
By Jennifer P. Matthews The University of Arizon Press, 2009
Although Juicy Fruit gum was introduced to North Americans in 1893, Native Americans in Mesoamerica were chewing gum thousands of years earlier. And although in the last decade biographies have been devoted to salt, spices, chocolate, coffee, and other staples of modern life, until now there has never been a full history of chewing gum. Chicle is a history in four acts, all of them focused on the sticky white substance that seeps from the sapodilla tree when its bark is cut. First, Jennifer Mathews recounts the story of chicle and its earliest-known adherents, the Maya and Aztecs. Second, with the assistance of botanist Gillian Schultz, Mathews examines the sapodilla tree itself, an extraordinarily hardy plant that is native only to Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Third, Mathews presents the fascinating story of the chicle and chewing gum industry over the last hundred plus years, a tale (like so many twentieth-century tales) of greed, growth, and collapse. In closing, Mathews considers the plight of the chicleros, the extractors who often work by themselves tapping trees deep in the forests, and how they have emerged as icons of local pop cultureportrayed as fearless, hard-drinking brawlers, people to be respected as well as feared. Before Dentyne and Chiclets, before bubble gum comic strips and the Doublemint twins, there was gum, oozing from jungle trees like melting candle wax under the slash of a machete. Chicle tells us everything that happened next. It is a spellbinding story.
- Chicle is a natural tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforests of Central America.
- Once all chewing gum was made with chicle, but today most gum is made entirely from synthetic stuff.
- Glee Gum uses chicle because it is an eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest, giving trees more value standing than chopped down for lumber.
- Glee Gum is now the only gum in North America made the old-fashioned way, with chicle.
As close to organic as can be!
- No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners
- No preservatives
- Feingold Diet-accepted
- Sugar-Free Glee sweetened with 100% xylitol
for dental health benefits
- Classic Glee sweetened with Fair Trade sugar
& brown rice syrup
- Made with chicle to help conserve the rainforest
- No phenylalanine
- The world’s first Fair Trade gum!
Candy Making Kits
- Make your own chewing gum
- Make your own chocolate
- Make your own gummies
- Fun & easy to make on the stove or with a microwave.
- Everything you need is included.
- Natural ingredients.
- Great gifts for kids
(ages 8 and up)!
- Cherry red, antique-style
- Glass globe
- Metal base, lid, and coin mechanism
- Stands 9″ tall
- Holds ~ 1 lb. of Glee Gum
- Dispenses 3-4 pieces of gum per spin
- Accepts quarters, dimes, or nickels
- Can be set to “free spin” to work without coins
- Doubles as a piggy bank!
- Made by Carousel
- Original 1920s design
Please note that gum is not included in the dispenser. Bulk Glee Gum is sold separately.