But unlike Willy Wonka’s three-course savoury and sweet gum, Bompas and Parr’s prototype gum “only” changes from one flavour to another… for now.
Jellymongers Bompas & Parr spent three years on the research behind the gum, which works by using microscopic edible capsules (“colloidosomes”) to release flavour at different stages of the chewing process.
The idea is that the first flavour colloidosomes will break on contact with saliva, followed by other flavours in stronger colloidosome structures – providing a sequential taste explosion as you chew harder.
Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, who have previously created glow-in-the-dark jelly, claim that it’s the first time that chewing gum has been made on a small scale by members of the public and by hand.
Indeed, members of the public can learn to make the chewing gum themselves – the two inventors have launched a chewing gum factory in Whiteley’s shopping centre in West London, where potential customers can choose from 40,000 flavour combinations.
“The flavour discernably changes,” Bompass and Parr explain. “Now what we’ve got to do is make sure that the first flavour totally cuts out.”
The pair, both 27, now hopes to create more original flavours, as well as Wonka-esque changing flavours. In Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka unveils the three-course dinner chewing gum. It tastes of tomato soup before changing into roast beef and baked potato flavour and then finally blueberry pie (watch the clip below!).
Combinations already include Hendricks gin and tonic, chicken kiev and foie gras, and curry and beer yeast.
You can visit Bompas & Parr’s “Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory” at Whiteleys shopping centre in London until the end of the month, where each visitor will be able to choose and combine 200 familiar and unusual flavours. The factory is open from noon to 6pm, October 25-31.
Let’s just hope that visitors don’t change into human blueberries.
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