The Latest Flavor of Globalization: Gummy Teeth

In this era of widespread food science, gift giving can be tricky. What do you give the processed food addict who has everything? I came across a thoughtful idea at my local 99-cent store: Haribo Gummy Teeth.

Right away, I knew I had found a love child resulting from an unconstrained gang-bang of globalization: a bag of German candy in Turkish-language packaging, sold at a Chinese-owned 99-cent store in Queens. A success of modern economics. A global village in my pocket!

What can be more gummy than gums?

The bag of this cleverly packaged product includes a cartoonish, anthropomorphic set of teeth complete with eyeballs and a dangling tongue, utilizing fun to de-emphasize the inevitable thought of cannibalism as one dines on curved segments of pink gum, each complete with embedded teeth.

But I experienced something slightly different when I opened the bag. I felt as if I had just raided the denture bowl of some unsuspecting grandmother. Interestingly enough, its taste took my mind off such distressing thoughts; the gummy gums reminded me of the pseudo-strawberry-flavored goo my orthodontist used to press onto my teeth to form an impression of my bite. A blast from the past—thirty years ago. Perhaps this modern processed food is not so modern after all.


About OmnivorousTraveler

Darrin DuFord is a travel writer, mapgazer, and jungle rodent connoisseur. His writing has won numerous awards and has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, BBC Travel, Gastronomica, Roads & Kingdoms, Narratively, and Perceptive Travel, among other publications. He is the author of Breakfast for Alligators: Quests, Showdowns and Revelations in the Americas (released in July 2016) and Is There a Hole in the Boat? Tales of Travel in Panama without a Car, silver medalist in the 2007 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards.
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