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!
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.