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The Story of Gum
Can you really remove gum from your hair with peanut butter? It has been proven that if you knead a small amount of peanut butter between your fingers and the gum, the gum will disperse enough so you can remove it.
Why is bubble gum pink? The color of the first successful bubble gum was pink because it was the only color the inventor had left. The color "stuck" and today bubble gum is still predominantly pink.

Civilizations around the world were chewing natural gum thousands of years ago. In A.D. 50, Ancient Greeks were believed to chew a tree resin from the Mastic tree. Dioscorides, a Greek physician and medical botanist of the first century, refers to the "curative powers" of the mastic in his writing. "Mastichan" in Greek means "to chew." Today Greeks and Middle Easterners enjoy chewing mastic resin, combined with beeswax, a softening agent.

During the second century, the Mayans in Central America enjoyed chewing chicle. This natural gum comes from the latex of the sapodilla tree and later became the main ingredient in chewing gum.
The North American Indians used the gum coming from the bark of spruce trees. They showed this custom to the early North American settlers, who created the first commercial chewing gum by selling and trading lumps of spruce. Spruce gum continued to be sold until the 1850s when paraffin wax became the new popular base for chewing gum. Paraffin gum unfortunately required the heat and moisture of the mouth to make it suitable for chewing, and was replaced by other substances. Sweetened and flavored paraffin wax is still used. Refined paraffin waxes are also used as ingredients of chewing gum bases.

Modern day gum products actually appeared in 1869. A USA American inventor working for the Mexican general, Antonio López de Santa Anna, realized that chicle was superior to all other gum bases, and produced some chicle-based gum. This rediscovery of what the Mayans had known over one thousand years earlier revolutionized the manufacture of chewing gum. Adams produced the first modern chewing gum. He called it Adams New York No. 1.

Gum made with chicle and similar latexes soon became more popular than spruce gum or paraffin gum. Chicle-base chewing gum was softer and its flavor lasted longer than any previous type of chewing gum. By the 1900s chewing gum was manufactured in many different shapes and sizes (long pencil-shaped sticks, ball form, flat sticks and blocks) and flavors (peppermint, fruit and spearmint).

Bubble gum was invented in 1928 by Walter Diemer. He found the right combination of ingredients and created a gum that was strong enough and elastic enough to stretch when filled with air.

Today, synthetic materials (human-made resins and waxes) replace natural gum ingredients to create a chewing gum with better quality, texture and taste. Corn syrup, sugar, and flavoring agents are later added to the gum base in the gum-making process. Chicle is still produced commercially from the red and white Sapodilla trees which grow in the rain forests of Central and South America.

In the USA, there are more than 1,000 varieties of gum manufactured and sold. You can find gum filled with liquid or speckled with crystals; gum that won't stick or is made without sugar; gum with wild flavor combinations like mango and watermelon or gum in crazy shapes like long rolls of tape.


GLOSSARY
remove

quitar. OJO: no es "remover" (false friend)

gum goma. Bubble gum: chicle para hacer globos (bubble: pompa, burbuja).
peanut butter mantequilla de cacahuete. Unte clásico de Estados Unidos. Con mermelada de fresa, en pan del molde, típica merienda. (Engorda que te cagas.)
proven /Èpruùv«n/ to prove - proved - proven (participio pasado). Probar (demostrar). Proof(s): prueba(s) (sustantivo).
knead /niùd/ Homófono de "need" (necesidad; necesitar). Amasar.
amount cantidad
disperse dispersarse (?). Aquí diríamos "ablandarse", creo yo. Este verbo no se usa mucho.
enough / so you can lo suficiente como para que puedas
We were tired, so we went to bed early = Estábamos cansadas, por lo que nos fuimos pronto a la cama.
had left

to have left: que te queda. Have you any time left?: ¿Te queda tiempo? We've got no cake left: No nos queda pastel.

stuck to stick - stuck - stuck: pegar(se); a stick: un palo; I'm stuck: Me he quedado atrapada/atascada. Pink "stuck": El rosa pegó fuerte (le gustó a la gente). Come on, stick around for a while: Anda, quédate un rato más.
physician /fIÈzIS«n/ médico/a. OJO: no es físico/a (false friend). Physics and Chemistry: Física y química.
to chew mascar. Chewing gum: goma de mascar. My dog chewed two pairs of mum's shoes!: Mi perro se ha comido dos pares de zapatos de mamá.
beeswax bees wax!: cera de abeja.
softening soft: adj., suave. Soft drink: refresco; soft drug: droga blanda.
to soften: suavizar; softenER: suavizante; softenING: que suaviza.
early primeros/as. También, pronto.
settlers colonos. To settle: establecerse; settlER: quien se establece.
trading to trade: comerciar; tradERs: comerciantes; trading: el comercio.
lumps trozos. También, a lump of sugar: un terrón de azúcar; en cocina, there are too many lumps: hay demasiados grumos; a lump in one's throat: un nudo en la garganta; a lump on one's back: un bulto en la espalda.
heat calor. To heat: calentar. Heat it a bit more: caliéntalo un poco más. Hot: caliente, picante. It's really hot: hace mucho calor/Está muy caliente/picante (spicy hot). In/On heat: en celo. My cat is in/on heat: mi gata está en celo.
moisture humedad
make it suitable hacerlo adecuado
replaced sustituido, reemplazado
sweetened endulzado. Sweet: adj., dulce. A sweet: un caramelo/dulce. To sweeten: endulzar; sweetenER: sustancia que endulza.
flavored US flavor; UK flavour. Flavor: sabor. To flavor: dar X sabor. Flavored: con X sabor.

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