Everlasting Gobstoppers became popular when Willy Wonka announced they were one of his favorites in the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory which was released in 1971. The small round candies are jawbreakers that change colors and flavors while you eat them. While jawbreakers have been known as Gobstoppers in the United Kingdom for the last eighty years, Americans weren't introduced to them until 1976 by Breaker Confections. They’re named after the Everlasting Gobstoppers in the Roald Dahl children’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which later became the movie, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” In the the story, Gobstoppers are purported to last forever and therefore the name, Everlasting Gobstopper.
Gobstoppers are available in a variety of flavor combinations and usually have a cherry-flavored chalky center. As you eat them each layer dissolves to reveal a different color and flavor. A Gobstopper with a chew center was also later released. Current outer-layer Gobstopper flavors include orange, cherry, lemon, watermelon, and grape.
When I was a kid in the late 80’s, I attended summer camp sessions with a canteen. My parents would give me 15 dollars to use in the canteen to last the whole session, with the promise that I could keep any money that was left-over. With that in mind, I tried to make that money last as long as I could—mainly by always getting gobstoppers at snack time, which were much cheaper than candy bars or sodas.
However, at one session, I ate so many gobstoppers in the Georgia heat that I got pretty sick to my stomach. My memory of going to the camp infirmary is wonderful—the sweet camp nurse fussing over me, the cool, air-conditioned room with clean, not sandy sheets, the quiet respite from a busy sleep-away camp. My eight-year old self was thrilled. So while I can’t say I learned my lesson, since I kept eating gobstoppers everyday at snack time, I can say that they made an indelible impression on me. I’ll still buy a box of them if I’m on a road trip and enjoy their changing flavors and colors. ~ Susan from Georgia