Gobstoppers, commonly called jawbreakers, are enjoyed for hours on end today, for it is Gobstopper Day! They are hard candies—ones so hard that they can't safely be bitten into, and they usually are round, being between one and three centimeters in diameter, but can be larger. Gobstoppers consist of layers that are different colors, and sometimes also different flavors. To make gobstoppers, layers of liquid sugar are deposited multiple times on a core that may be a gumball or a pressed ball of sugar. Natural and artificial flavors are added as well. The process is known as hot panning. It takes place in large heated pans that rotate and is completed in a few weeks' time.
During the years between the two World Wars, gobstoppers were popular candies in the United Kingdom and the Americas, where they were sold by weight from jars in sweet and candy shops. Roald Dahl used the name in his 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when he created the Everlasting Gobstopper, a candy that changed flavors and colors as it was sucked on, but never completely dissolved. The 1971 film adaptation of Dahl's book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, also featured the Everlasting Gobstopper. In 1976, the Everlasting Gobstopper became real candy. Resembling the gobstoppers that were popular early in the century, and named after the gobstopper in Dahl's book, Everlasting Gobstoppers were first manufactured by Breaker Confections, before being purchased by Nestlé. Today we celebrate these and all other types of gobstoppers!
How to Observe Gobstopper Day
The following are some ways you could take part in the day:
- Enjoy some Everlasting Gobstoppers or other varieties of gobstoppers or jawbreakers.
- Give away some gobstoppers to your friends or invite them over for a gobstopper party.
- Read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Watch a clip from MythBusters about exploding jawbreakers.