Where to start with a Giant Gobstopper, I’m sure that’s something many of us have pondered. As we breathed in that sweet sugar loaded scent and basked in the humongous smooth surface and abstract paint splattered exterior. The big daddy of sweets, Giant Gobstoppers are a marvel of the sweet world, also known as the nightmare of all dentists.
As any of our fellow UK based readers will recognise, ‘Gobstoppers’ sprung from the slang word ‘gob’ meaning mouth. The name Giant Gobstoppers itself is pretty self explanatory, there’s truly no way around them and you certainly can’t fit one in your poor mouth. The fact that gobstoppers are far too hard to bite – especially without risking a tooth – is definitely a close second in reasons for the spot on name. Many of our readers may find it interesting to learn that Giant Gobstoppers have a different name in the US, but no less a perfectly descriptive one, ‘Jawbreakers’. Unfortunately this does cause some confusion as I’m sure you’ll remember the aptly named Strawberry Jawbreakers, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.
While an exact year is hard to pin down, we know Giant Gobstoppers were a particular favourite of young school children between the two World Wars, and so have been around at least from the early 1920s.
Did you know? Gobstoppers are made by way of a technique called sugar panning. The process coincides with slowly depositing layers onto a core, in the case of Giant Gobstoppers it’s a largely a small sphere made of the same consistency of sugar used for the sugar panning but compressed so that it retains its clear smooth form. If you ever manage to finish one of these glorious sweets you’ll see exactly what I mean as you reach the heart of this rock hard sweet.
The sugar sphere is then moved between large, rotating, heated pans. The process of sugar panning is quite time consuming as the candies take several weeks to manufacture all together. Consistently adding liquid sugar layers which repeat multiple times to build up the sugar filled treat into the giant we recognise as a true Gobstopper. Each layer of sugar panning is coloured and flavoured giving this long lasting sweet a bit of variety and leaving you waiting with bated breath for the next layer to reveal itself.