Pop a gobstopper in your mouth, fire up a Willy Wonka or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, and enjoy the pop culture treat brought to you by Roald Dahl.
There are certain, special things that stand out as a part of every childhood in a certain culture, whether that is the smell of cookies baking in a winter kitchen after school, or that rich aroma of barbecue surrounded by the joyous voices of friends and family.
Despite its silly name, Gobstopper Day celebrates these candies and the history they share with generations of children.
This is the day to celebrate and enjoy everything related to Gobstoppers!
History of Gobstopper Day
For many, the presence of Gobstopper candy stands out as a beacon of childhood! In fact, jawbreakers, the predecessor to the brand-name Gobstopper, have been one of the most popular candies throughout the Americas and the UK since World War I and II. But the name “Gobstopper’ didn’t find its way into culture until the 1960s.
A creation from Roald Dahl’s 1964 fictional world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Everlasting Gobstopper was a magical candy that changed colors and flavors when sucked on, but never actually disappeared! In 1976, the candy with the name “Gobstopper” was created in a similar format to what is known as a jawbreaker.
Gobstoppers have been an institution of many people’s childhoods for decades now, but most people have no idea how they are made! These delicious little treats are created through an interesting and unique development process. It takes an impressive amount of time for these delicious candies to be made, as each individually flavored layer has to be deposited on the candy over a series of weeks through a rather intensive process. The pans in which these candies are made rotate, taking advantage of this candy making process called hot panning or sugar panning.
While delicious, there is a particularly dangerous bit of history to the Gobstoppers. Most people don’t realize that the special techniques involved in its creation result in a particular set of properties that can render the Gobstopper into something resembling a low-grade explosive. The different layers can heat at different rates, resulting in inner layers of the candy being molten while the exterior layers are still solid, creating a pressure differential that can result in the candy popping open.
While current designs have helped to minimize these effects, the show Mythbusters demonstrated that it is still possible for it to occur under the right circumstances. Who knew that it was such a dangerous prospect to make this delightful snack?!
How to Celebrate Gobstopper Day
Enjoying and celebrating this day is a delight for anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth. It can be nostalgic for some, or a new adventure for others. Try these ideas for getting involved with Gobstopper Day:
Eat a Mouthful of Gobstoppers
Gobstopper Day is the perfect opportunity to shove your gob (an English/Irish slang word meaning mouth) full of these delicious candies. However, most people, including the dentist, would encourage the avoidance of chewing, given how hard the candy is.
In fact, many people think that Gobstoppers are much more satisfying to slowly suck until the layers fade away, enjoying each individual layer for the flavors trapped therein. Larger gobstoppers can last for days, perhaps weeks, or even months if they are nursed properly, particularly since you often can’t put the whole thing in your mouth at one time.
Give Gobstoppers as a Gift
Friends, neighbors and coworkers all deserve the gift of enjoying Gobstopper day! And this is easy to make happen. Just pop over to the grocery store or convenience store and pick up several packages of this tasty treat to hand out to whomever happens to come across your path on Gobstopper Day. They’ll all be delighted!
Enjoy Willy Wonka Books or Films
Roald Dahl’s fantastical creation of the character Willy Wonka has led children through generations of fun! Take a look at these original or adapted versions of the story to celebrate Gobstopper Day:
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Road Dahl (1964). This classic book isn’t just for children! Enjoy the fun adventures of Charlie as he wins the Golden Ticket.
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971 film). Gene Wilder makes a delightful Willy Wonka as he stars in this musical adaptation of Dahl’s book.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005 film). A modernized version of Dahl’s book takes a slightly darker perspective from Tim Burton’s point of view. Johnny Depp stars as the world’s most unusual candy maker in this strange but enjoyable musical fantasy film.
Hold a Gobstopper Party
What a fun and unique reason to gather friends together in celebration of this event! Of course, the feature on the menu must be Gobstoppers candies, such as decorating a cake or cupcake using Gobstoppers candies on top of the icing. Or serve ice cream sundaes using Gobstoppers as one of the selections of toppings.
Decorations could include rainbow-colored streamers and balloons, as well as tablecloths, napkins and other paper products in bright, Gobstopper color themes.
For fun, hold some games that include the use of gobstoppers, such as filling a glass jar with Gobstoppers candies and having people make guesses as to how many are in the jar.
Gobstopper Day gives you an excuse to revel in this childhood treat. Like you needed one.