Clove Gum: The Spicy Chewing Gum of the 1900s

We think it's safe to say that gum is one of the most popular candies out there. Chances are if you're looking for chewing gum, someone around you will have some in their pocket or purse, usually mint-flavored like doublemint. But have you ever heard of clove gum? It's one of the oldest candy brands in the United States, and we think it's about time for this retro bubble gum to come back into style.

What Is Clove Chewing Gum?

Clove gum was introduced by the Thomas Adams Company in 1914. It's also one of the first kinds of gum to use chicle, a resin from the sarsaparilla tree as a base. But according to True Treats Historic Candy, the original clove chewing gum was not very tasty, so he added sugar, and that helped customers get on board.

Not long after that, Adams also added licorice flavor and created the first flavored gum - Black Jack Gum. But he wasn't the only guy who got in on the gum game — in the late 1800s, Dr. Edward E. Beeman, an Ohio physician, created a new product- Beeman's Chewing Gum, which was later named Beemans Gum.

Aside from adding sugar, what made clove chewing gum grow in popularity? According to Old Time Candy, some believe people used to use the strong-smelling classic chewing gum to cover the smell of alcohol in the time of Prohibition. That must have been some smelly gum!

Can You Buy Clove Gum Today?

Yes! Clove gum is available for purchase today, all these years after it was introduced in the United States.

Today, clove chewing gum generally has a strong clove flavor along with hints of cinnamon and allspice mixed in. Accessibility-wise, the vintage gum can be hard to find, but specialty candy stores often have it, and stick packs are definitely available online and from candy sellers with websites and delivery services. You'll just have to track some down to find out exactly what it tastes like for yourself!

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This post was originally published on November 25, 2020.