Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Gummibärchen!
It’s a beautiful language, isn’t it? That means “happy birthday, gummy bears!” unless the internet is lying to me, which it hardly ever does. Although, it turns out there’s, like, a trillion ways to say “happy birthday”, depending on what dialect of Germanium you speak. Anyhow, gummy bears turn eighty five this month. Wee!
Gummies are made by the Haribo company, which is derived from Hans Riegel, Bonn.
The very first Haribo gummy bear was created in 1922. A bit taller and thinner than today’s bear, it was modeled after the dancing bear. (From the Middle Ages through the last century, street performers kept brown bears, forcing them to entertain crowds by pulling on a chain attached to a ring in their nose.) Some three decades later, the popular dancing bear became a bit smaller and thicker, resembling a teddy bear. Today’s version entered the market in the late 1960s.
A cheerful people. Production was suspended during the war, when demand for sweets was low and Hans Riegal was a prisoner of war. I would have thought the latter fact more of an obstacle.
Something must be controversial in Gummibärchenwelt, because the Wikipedia page is barred from change by newbies (a safeguard they don’t provide obscure, uncontroversial figures like George Bush). Perhaps someone disputes the claim that gummies produce bezoars and bowel obstructions. Or perhaps it’s the fascinating gummy fact that isn’t there. Wait for it. Wait for it…
Gummy bears are a pork product! Yes, it’s true! The Germanians render pigs into sweeties! That’s where the distinctive gumminess comes from. I hate the damn things, myself, but now that I know the act of eating them is haram…
Postscript: the British Jelly Baby is even older, though I don’t know which unclean animal they’re made of. They were created by Bassett’s in 1919 to celebrate the end of the Great War; they were called “Peace Babies.” Production had to be suspended during WWII for lack of raw materials.
Don’t you love irony? I know I do!