Posts tagged ‘wonka’

Three Course Meals Coming Soon to a Gum Near You

Every time gum has more than one flavor, somebody starts talking about Willy Wonka. You know the scene: against Wonka’s express instructions, the unfortunate Violet Beauregard, ugly American chewing gum fanatic, pops that experimental stick in her mouth and enjoys the taste of luscious tomato soup followed by succulent roast beef, only to swell up like a super-size blueberry when the pie course comes along. What if? we wonder, as we chew thoughtfully on Stride Shift, hoping to capture the Wonka Magic as berry fades to faded mint.

Well, meat and pie lovers seeking full-meal gum satisfaction need dream no more, according to a recent report in The Telegraph (UK).

Actually, this story of invention and mastication begins in the pharmaceutical lab. For some time, drug makers have been using nanotechnology to create “microcapsules”: protective shells around the drug molecule that do not dissolve immediately in the stomach, allowing the drug to pass to the colon undigested.

Mad food scientists got wind of these slowly dissolving capsules and got to tinkering. If theses capsules can delay the release of drugs, could they be jiggered to delay the release of flavors?

Here’s the idea, according to food scientist Dave Hart of the Institute of Food Research (Norwich, UK):

“Tiny nanostructures within the gum would contain each of the different flavours. These would be broken up and released upon contact with saliva or after a certain amount of chewing – providing a sequential taste explosion as you chew harder.”

State-side, physicists at the University of Massachusetts have already begun to figure out how encapsulate flavor molecules in microcapsules. The Wonka future is now.

I’ve got to say, my first reaction to this story is: so this is what the finest scientific minds of our age are working on? I’d better get moving on that Chinese language class…

Gum. It’s getting more exciting every day.

October 25, 2010 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

WONKAnfusion: Or, Who is Buying WONKA Chocolate?

Nestle’s new WONKA line of chocolates has me a bit mystified.

Cybele in her review of Wonka Exceptionals Domed Dark Chocolate over at described the new product and packaging as:

[T]he quality of the chocolate is much better. The chocolate is smoother, has a bolder flavor and of course the fact that the ingredients are better should make it easier for families to choose Wonka. I’ve compared them before to Dove and Hershey’s Bliss – but what these have going for them is that the packaging is all about imagination – the bright striped foils are going to appeal more to kids than the sedate and elegant positioning of Dove or Bliss.

I agree with her description, but it seems kind of schizo to me. On the one hand, the quality of chocolate and the pricing put the Wonka line in competition with Dove and Hershey’s Bliss, chocolates that convey adult sophistication. On the other hand, the packaging is all bright colors and psychedelic swirls, more like the packaging on “extreme” kids candies.

I was confused. Who is supposed to buy these? They seem too expensive and too big for kids to buy for themselves; is it about parents who want to buy “quality” candy for their kids? That doesn’t make sense to me either: parents who are worried about the “quality” of their children’s candies are looking for organic and natural ingredients, not “premium” lines.

And as more and more reviews of the Wonka products have been circulating on the great candy blogs, my confusion has festered. Higher prices, wackier packaging, for whom?

And then my friend over at turned me on to the WONKAnation blog. And all was revealed.

WONKAnation: it’s a bus. A tour. Bands. Parties. Free candy. The WONKA Chick. Dude, its endless summer with Nerds and Gobstoppers in the mix. It’s a Twitter feed promising “instantaneous awesomeness!” It’s The OFFICIAL WONKA talkin’ about “you and your rockin’ WONKA style!”

The new WONKA isn’t about the little kiddies at all, its about that new demographic, those 20 and 30 and 40 somethings who want to rock and roll all night and party every day: kiddults.

Just like those kiddults, WONKA is grown up chocolate with attitude:

WONKA is bringing a pinch of whimsy, a bucket of imagination and something a little unexpected to the all-too-stuffy premium chocolate category.

So take your stuffy Scharffen Berger, your boring Green & Black, your dull Dove. WONKA’s in the house. Dude.

April 2, 2010 at 8:24 am 3 comments

Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

Welcome to Candy Professor

Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

(C) Samira Kawash

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