Tasteful Inventions

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Walter E. Diemer: Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum

I'm So Happy I Could Burst!

Hi Everyone! My eye has healed, I bought a new pair of "specks" and I'm ready for action!

Pop Quiz! What if I told you the man who invented the world's first Bubble Gum, Dubble Bubble, was born on this day? Would I be stretching the truth if I told you that same man, Walter E. Diemer, was a 23 year old accountant who concocted his first batch of Bubble Gum purely by accident? Nooooooo Waaaaaay!

There are gobs of stickiness orbiting the History of Dubble Bubble and Walter E. Diemer, the man most likely responsible for causing me to write "I will not chew gum in school" way too many times! If I recall, wearing bubble gum on the tip of my nose, was one of my favorite past times in school too, besides blowing bubbles of course. Nowadays, there's quite a debate as to the benefits of chewing gum in school. According to this article, there is scientific evidence showing that chewing gum improves concentration and reduces stress.

...Teachers may outlaw chewing gum in class, but chewing gum in class makes kids smarter. How could that be? Chewing causes our hearts to pump more blood to our brain than it usually does. More blood carries noggin-nourishing oxygen and that will help brain function better. It also increases the glucose level, making the student more alert. The rhythmic chewing also increases attention. Mental tasks are done 20% more effectively while chewing gum and that's why it makes students "smarter"...

"Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
Learning how to blow bubbles isn't easy. It takes practice. Lots of practice! In fact, when Mr. Diemer slapped together his first successful batch of Dubble Bubble, he then found himself in a rather glutinous situation. He had to teach the company's salespeople how to use the stuff! Imagine, a teacher teaching people how to to blow bubbles with bubble gum? But wait, Mr. Diemer wasn't a teacher. He wasn't even just an accountant anymore. After his amazing discovery, Fleer promoted him to senior vice-president of the company.

National Bubble Gum week, which originated at Northern Michigan University as a way to "relieve tension among students preparing for final exams", isn't until the second week of March but, I thought perhaps in honor of this special occasion, we could do just a smidgen of celebrating today. What do you think? I thought you would agree:)

I was so intrigued by the "Bubblicious" Bubblegum Martini that I spied over on Kate's post, that I just had to get my hands on some Dubble Bubble and give it a whirl. Look at how cool it looks after just 4 hours of "marinating." In 24 hours, we'll have our very own Bubble Gum Vodka. Truth be told, you could try this recipe with Bazooka too!!!

Dubble Bubble had no competition until after World War II. According to the International Chewing Gum Association, during WWII bubblegum was handed out by US military personnel as gifts, thereby spreading its popularity among the peoples of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Dubble Bubble was part of the US military’s ration kits. And in the 1930s the first bubblegum cards were issued. The pictures ranged from war heroes to Wild West figures to professional athletes. After the war, Topps began wrapping bubble gum in comics and called it, Bazooka!

Why is Bubble Gum Pink?

It seems, America's first Bubble Gum was a dingy gray. Mr. Diemer wouldn't have it! The only handy food coloring in his lab that August day was Pink and that dear readers is why the preferred color of Bubble Gum the world over is Pink!

Mr. Diemer never received royalties for his invention. He did, however, receive hundreds of letters from children thanking him for "inventing" bubble gum. Although he rarely chewed gum, he would invite groups of children to his home and tell them about his invention, then he would preside over bubblegum-blowing contests. He is quoted as saying, "I've done something with my life. I've made kids happy around the world." In 1991 Walter E. Diemer moved to Lancaster, PA. There he enjoyed life riding around town on his tricycle. He died in 1998 at the the age of 93!

So what does one do when they've conjured up their very own Bubble Gum "extract?" First, one "plays" with the concoction, of course.

Then one bakes cupcakes! Oh no, not your every day ordinary cupcakes. Bubble Gum Cupcakes!!! That's right kiddies, I baked Bubble Gum Cupcakes with Bubble Gum Marshmallow Frosting! And, let me tell you, they are Dee...li...cious!!! Oh, they may not look like much but, they taste just like Bubble Gum!

FYI: Frank Henry Fleer was involved with chewing gum long before Mr. Diemer made history with the invention of his bubble gum. Curiously, Blibber-Blubber was never brought to market.

1. Brush Up on Bubble Gum Trivia

2. Bubble Gum Lip Gloss Recipe

3. World Bubble Records

4. Fleer History

5. An odd tale about chewing gum and the Alamo.

6. Bubble Gum Ball Surprise Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream & Pink Rock Candy Crystals

7. Bubble Gum Marshmallows (made with bubble gum food flavoring, no Vodka:)

8. Mr. Diemer, New York Times Obit

This post was checked for links in December of 2015.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Harold Baker: Chiffon Cake

Today, we celebrate two inventions baked into one.

Oil is the Key

The story of the Wesson Oil and Snowdrift Companies begins at the Southern Cotton Oil Company founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 5, 1887.

From the 1770s to the 1880s agriculturists and cooks sought to develop culinary oils from plants. Thomas Jefferson's attempts to introduce the olive into the agriculture of the United States, as a partial substitute for lard in cookery met with limited success...In the first decades of the nineteenth century, planter experimentalists began the commercial scale production of benne oil, establishing it as the primary salad oil and the second favored frying medium in the southern United States. It enjoyed acceptance and moderate commercial success until the refinement of cottonseed oil in the 1870s and 1880s. Cotton seed, a waste product of the south's most cotton vital industry, was turned into a revenue stream as David Wesson and other scientists created a salad oil and frying medium designedly tasteless and odorless, and a cooking fat, hydrogenated cottonseed oil (Cottonlene or Crisco) that could cheaply substitute for lard in baking. Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

The Cake

The notion of combining beaten egg whites into a batter prepared with egg yolks and oil belongs to creator and professional baker, Harry Baker. Baker owned a Hollywood pastry shop at 341 Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. bake me a cake...