Monday, August 25, 2008

Who's got the best selection of gumballs?

Hello again gumball fans,

I thought that many of you might have been wondering why I, a man of worldly gumball tastes, would continue to consistently procure my gumballs from a single source. In this post, I will explain using hard statistical data and just a tad of subjectivity.

It comes down to selection, folks. I scoured the internet looking for the best selection of gourmet gumballs out there and found that had the most. Observe -

There ya have it, folks - has the best selection in gumballs on the internet.

An easy choice for me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Smiley Face Gumballs...with a dark side.

Hello Gumball Fans!

The subject of today's post is Smiley Face Gumballs, those lovable, adorable little globes of fun and enjoyment. Unfortunately, it appears that this symbol of childhood and all that is good has been corrupted. Alas I say with a great deal of dysphoria and tristesse in my heart - these gumballs are being used to get high.

Here's the story from the Washington Post:

Four people in the Washington area have been charged in recent months with selling marijuana-laced gumballs, including an Arlington man who was arrested last month after police said they found more than two dozen of the altered candies at his apartment.

To the unsuspecting eye, the individually packaged gumballs look like regular bubble gum. They are yellow with a black smiley face stamp. But upon closer inspection, a small, crudely drilled hole in the gumballs marks where they have been altered.

Arlington police said the gumballs discovered July 22 at Paul C. Cofer Jr.'s Crystal City apartment contained THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. THC, which is extracted from marijuana leaves, is more potent on its own, police said.

Cofer, 20, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Police said he was released on bond.

"This is the first that we've seen of this, and so we really want to get the word out to parents that these things are out there and they need to be aware if they see their child with one," said John Lisle, an Arlington County Police Department spokesman.

"It looks like he was breaking them open or drilling into them and putting the drugs inside," Lisle said. "But he wasn't just putting marijuana inside. He extracted the THC, and so they were more potent and highly concentrated."

Lisle said the gumballs were packaged in green wrappers with smiley faces and were being sold for $10 apiece.

Cofer is not the first person in the region alleged to be caught with marijuana-laced gumballs recently. In what authorities said could become a disturbing trend that could put illegal drugs into the hands of unsuspecting children, three 17-year-old Maryland students were arrested earlier this year on drug charges after a teacher allegedly saw two of them selling packaged gumballs to the third.

In that case, Howard County police charged the teenagers after the teacher told a school resource officer that she saw a student give a plastic bag containing what she thought was drugs to another student.

The officer seized the bag, which contained two gumballs wrapped in foil, police said. Instructions on the package, labeled "Greenades," told users to chew the candy 30 minutes to an hour "before you would like to receive your high" and to "chew for as long as possible, then swallow."

The gumballs were confiscated in January at Howard High School, police said, but federal drug tests didn't confirm the presence of marijuana until May. That month, the Drug Enforcement Administration released a bulletin about the candies and said each gumball contained one gram of marijuana.

Calls to a DEA spokesman were not returned.

In news reports, DEA and drug education officials said the gumballs found in Maryland and Virginia appear to be the first of their kind in the region. Concern over drug use is growing as dealers develop increasingly sophisticated methods of marketing and packaging illegal substances.

In the Arlington County case, Lisle said, police were called to Cofer's apartment building in the 1600 block of South Eads Street after residents reported seeing a man armed with a gun trying to break into an apartment. Police said they followed the man, later identified as Cofer, to his residence in the same building. He told detectives that his ex-girlfriend lived in the other apartment and that he was trying to get money that was owed him, police said.

While police where inside Cofer's apartment making a report about the gun, which was a BB gun, one officer noticed an odd-looking case in Cofer's bedroom. The officer asked Cofer's permission to look inside the case, where he found a bag of gumballs with a strong odor of marijuana, Lisle said. There also was a large bag of unaltered gumballs in the case, police said. [Washington Post]

It is a sad day indeed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Written Word...with gumballs?

Ah friends - another opportunity to share a unique, unexpected, and perhaps revolutionary use of the gumball and the gumball machine. In this case, a few literary fellows have used the gumball machine as a medium for expression, thus transforming a simple sweetened-orb dispensing machine into a potentially life altering apparatus. This is what Shakespeare or Whitman would have done if they had had a sweet tooth. The gumball is truly an apt locale for the written word.

Now, more about the folks who have spawned this cross-breed of the mellifluous and the lexical. Gumball Poetry is "a non-profit literary magazine that publishes the best poetry it can get a hold of. But we publish it differently - into gumball machines (capsules) and onto the Web." [Gumball Poetry]

Check out their great looking gift boxes complete with gumball poetry:

Also of note - the folks at Gumball Poetry have set up gumball poetry gumball machines! Check it out:

The machine looks a lot like some of the gumball machines at like this one.

What a great idea this truly is. An inspiration for intellectuals and foodies alike.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review (finally.)

It’s been much too long since my last review, so here goes. My next stop on the gumball-filled adventure called life was the Peach Gumball from

Maison Review #5 - Peach Gumballs

My investigation began upon reception of the box. This prunus persica flavored ball was sure to delight my taste buds, I thought to myself. The delightfully colored peachy orange orb connoted the furriness and fleshiness that I have come to expect and enjoy from a peach. Opening the box with sheer merriment plastered upon my visage, I ripped through the cardboard only to find a shining, yellow, globate, chewable that was nothing like the peachy treat I had feasted my eyes upon only days before.

Needless to say, I was disappointed. I slunk back into my oversized, brown armchair and simply gazed into the fireplace before me. The coals that filled the sooty stall were a fitting metaphor for this nightmare of an unwrapping.

After a good deal of sulking, I finally gave into my innermost temptation to insert this sad excuse for a gumball into my mouth. For approximately 26 seconds, the ball simply rested on my tongue as my teeth remained perched above and below the ball refusing to engage in mastication out of utter disdain. Finally, molar met marble.

What followed is a simply indescribable sensation, but I will try to relate it. Imagine yourself in an ever-extending Georgia peach field. Everywhere you look, simply the freshest fruit ripe for the picking straight from the tree. You begin to run – simply for the pleasure of it. The scent of delicious, fresh fruit fills your nostrils as you run by dozens then hundreds then thousands of Georgia peach trees. Then you stop. You’ve found the tree. You pluck fruit from the highest branch. It’s a perfect sphere – no flaws. You know it’s the one. Grasping the fruit in your hand, you lower toward your mouth then sink your canines into its sweet, moist flesh. Nirvana.

Yes, friends. This once peach gumball skeptic is now perhaps it’s biggest fan. I can utter no more words on the subject, so it must be grading time.

Aroma - 4.5. I was in the orchard.

Look - 2. These gumballs left much to be desired. And they weren't, well, orange.

Composition - 3. Not the sweet, fleshiness of a peach but a good chew nonetheless.

Taste - 4.5. Simply delicious.

Overall, I give the Peach Gumballs 3.5 balls out of 5.

This gumball represents what is good in the world of gum. An accurate and excellent chew that left me feeling satisfied.

Now I must ask a favor of you - please excuse an unexcusable portion of corniness, but I feel that in this instance it is justified.

Here goes: The Peach Gumballs left me feeling downright peachy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gumballs can be scary.

Hello all!

Sorry about the lack of posts lately - it's been a hectic week. I don't have much time for today's post either (expect much more next week!), but I did want to share this picture.

I would say it's kind of cool, but honestly, it's more scary than anything. Enjoy, and look out for gumball reviews on Peach Gumballs and Jelly Bean Gumballs!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Feng shui-ed gumball machine

First off, I wanted to let everyone know that I've been recently published on a great chocolate blog called The Chocolate Review. Everyone should definitely check it out - it's got great photos and content. Definitely one of the better chocolate blogs out there.

Second, the feng shui gumball machine. It's called the Picture Perfect Gumball Machine. It's very hip - perfect for chic chewers.

That's all for now. Expect more reviews soon...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Review Quatre

Maison Review #4 - Ice Cream Sundae Gumballs

You put a cherry on top of a sundae, but what do you top an Ice Cream Sundae gumball with? A Very Cherry gumball perhaps? Well, I ordered a case of the Ice Cream Sundae gumballs from to get my answer.

The gumballs came in 4 different flavors: pistachio, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. At first, some of these flavors were a tad off-putting. The gumballs I grew up with were fruit flavored or simply infused with high quantities of sugar. So, I had my doubts – could a gumball truly capture the complex and varied flavors of a pistachio or the richness and pure pleasure of chocolate?

Sort of.

I’ll break it down one by one. First, the strawberry. It was fruity and creamy, capturing the essential elements of a strawberry ice cream. Its speckles, while certainly not visually appealing, provided the necessary flavor boosts of fruit to complement the cream. This gumball was tasty and accurate (well, as accurate as a gumball could be). But, a fruit-flavored gumball is certainly not the most challenging flavor to capture – it has been refined over the long history of the gumball.

Content with the first ball, I ventured for a second still more nervous and perplexed by the difficulty of the mission that this set of gumballs had set out to accomplish. Next up was vanilla. While certainly a more difficult task than its predecessor, this gumball had some leeway in my mind. While I am certainly no connoisseur in vanilla flavor, I am sufficiently experienced to state with a good deal of confidence that so-called “vanilla-flavored products” can, in fact, vary a good deal in taste. Vanilla is by no means a constant beacon of flavor – a metaphorical “golden arches” that will (no matter where one may be) serve up a deliciously average, low quality hamburger with a set number of seeds and meager quantity of pickles. So, while my expectations were high, they weren’t too high due to the flexibility of what one may classify as “vanilla.” Upon first chew, my taste buds immediately detected “vanilla.” Was it vanilla ice cream? Well, not exactly. It lacked that creamy texture necessary to simulate the melting, pleasurable feel of ice cream on the tongue. Despite the tad of inaccuracy, it was an enjoyable chew with superb texture and chewability and an excellent after-taste.

Next, I reached for a beaming, bright globe that was an almost lime green in color. It was pistachio, and I was mighty skeptical. I was especially worried that the brilliant taste of the pistachio nut with just a tinge of sweetness and an explosion of flavorful nut-ness would be lost in translation – from a nut to an ice cream to a 25 millimeter sugared orb. Surely such an inappropriate site for the unleashing of pistachio flavor would erupt into flames of failure. Ah, how wrong I was. The pistachio was beyond words. It was TERRIBLE. Yes, gumball and chocolate fans alike, this nutty ball was not meant for consumption. It was not meant for a game of marbles or as a stylish centerpiece. This beyond unholy, globular, scatological piece of chewing trash was, well, the absolute antithesis of deliciousness.

My hopes and dreams for the gumball now mutilated, I limped toward the finish line – the chocolate ice cream gumball. My expectations trashed, my mood ruined, and my mind focused on finishing the remainder of the tasting as quickly as absolutely possible, I inserted the gumball into my mouth.

I bit into it. Chewed it once, … twice, … three times. Stopped.


The plight of the now forever tarnished gumball had been lifted. The gumball had been restored to its once lofty position of prominence among candies and sweets. This gumball was good.

But, not great. It was an accurate interpretation of chocolate ice cream and a tasty one at that. But, it was nothing special. It was not the best gumball I’d ever chewed (far from it, in fact). But it was good, and that was all this humble gumball reviewer needed – reassurance that the gumball will live on.

I'm too shaken to give an in-depth grade. I'll give the Ice Cream Sundae gumballs 3.5 balls out of 5.

Music with...gumballs?

Another answer to the gumball skeptics out there! Gumballs have truly infiltrated all parts of our diverse and complex culture, influencing philosophy, microfinance, and even football. The diverse uses of that rubbery orb confirm the range of potential thought of the human race. Divinely inspired? Perhaps.

The next use of the gumball has arrived. It is known as the "Bubblegum Sequencer." Techno fanatics might already grasp what this device entails simply from its title, but for the gumball fans out there, the explanation of this "sequencer" my evade comprehension. Here goes.

Here's the simplistic explanation:
The Bubblegum Sequencer is a physical step sequencer that lets you create drumloops by arranging colored balls on a tangible surface. It generates MIDI events and can be used as an input device to control audio hardware and software. Finally, people can't claim anymore that electronic music isn't handmade.
Here's how it works: A grid of holes, consisting of several rows with 16 holes each is the canvas. On it, you arrange colored gumballs. The 16 columns represent the 16th-notes in a measure. Each color is mapped to a specific sample.
Because the output is generated in the form of MIDI events, the Bubblegum Sequencer can be used to control any kind of audio hardware or software. []
From the video, it appears that these gumball techies have used basic, 1 inch assorted color gumballs. Perhaps not from our friends at, but a similar product nonetheless.

The lesson for today: Gumballs are delicious and, at times, can be down right groovy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Review time!

Sorry for the long lapse in posts – I was out of the country (my next post will include a story from the trip – gumball related!). But finally, I’m back and ready for the third installment of Maison Gumball Reviews. Ready? Let’s go.

Maison Review #3 – Strawberry Shortcake Gumballs

I begin with a confession. I, Shmoel, have never had strawberry shortcake. Yes, my beloved fellow foodies. I am embarrassed to say it, but, alas, it is true. I placed my order for these gumballs from with a tinge of grief yet an overwhelming sense of excitement for the unknown. No, I’d never had strawberry shortcake, but soon, I would have the gumball modeled after this famed dessert.

And then, they arrived (the Strawberry Shortcake gumballs that is). My giddiness was undeniable, and I ripped open the box in juvenile glee. And there they were – white gumballs with red speckles and spots – as accurate a representation of strawberry shortcake that a gumball could ever hope to attain.

Biting into that first gumball, I immediately recognized the many flavors that make up the strawberry shortcake. There was a distinct fruit flavor that could only be strawberry. And there was the gnomic taste of a truncated cake. It was all there – at least I think. But extremely unsure of the accuracy of this globe’s composition, I set off to uncover the true cake. I wanted to be sure that the strawberry shortcake flavor had not been lost in translation, that the ball had remained true to its artful and supposedly delicious predecessor.

Long story short – the cake was good; the gumball was better. But, perhaps I’m biased – I am the proud proprietor of Maison de Gumball. Anyway, grading time!

Aroma – 3.5. Honestly, it didn’t really smell like strawberry shortcake.

Look – 3.5. About as accurate as it comes with gumballs. The speckles were surprisingly more visually appealing in this case (unlike the Fruit Freaks Gumballs).

Composition – 4.5. Superb chewability and very fresh.

Taste – 4.5. Better than the cake itself.

Overall, I give the Strawberry Shortcake gumballs 4 out of 5 balls.

I hope I haven’t insulted all bakers out there, but this gumball is better than the original (and best when both are crammed into one’s bouche all at once).

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gumballs in the future

I am on a roll.

I found another awesome and innovative use of gumballs. This time, it's not microfinancing.

It's LEGOs.

Some LEGO nerds apparently constructed a contraption dedicated solely to the sorting of gumballs. And, the best part is: "If you are an obsessive compulsive this LEGO Mindstorms Robot that sorts Gumballs by color may be able to save you countless hours of work! Just think no more late nights spent hunched over the coffee table sorting gumballs into their respective colors." []

To all of you who thought "Gumballs? How could he blog ONLY about gumballs?" - I hope that I'm beginning to prove you wrong. Gumballs are everywhere! They're in the future. They're making the world a better place. And, my oh my, do they taste great.

Hope this has been an enjoyable visit to Maison de Gumball.

Come back soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Excellent cause with...gumballs?

Yes, friends. Gumballs can actually do good for this world. Look no farther than an emerging organization on the Stanford University campus as well as many others across the country.

Gumball Capital is "inspiring entrepreneurship for social impact with our microfinance benefit competition — The Gumball Challenge.

Participating teams receive $27 microloans and 27 gumballs from Gumball Capital. After a one-week creativity spree in November, the teams donate any revenue to a microfinance-related organization of their choice.

We offer the Gumball Fund as one option, for students interested in supporting developing-world entrepreneurs through microfinance." []

Their homepage has a very fun of video of gumballs interacting with their environment called "Gumballs Making Change." Definitely check this one out.

Also, turns out my supplier of gumballs,, is supplying the gumballs for Gumball Capital, as well. From their video and logo, it looks like they're using the assorted gumballs.

Gumballs for a cause. Quite a concept and an honorable one, indeed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Second Review

Wow, I can't even believe that I'm in my second week of blogging. I'm really having a great time with it, and I especially hope that all of you out there have been enjoying your time at Maison de Gumball.

Now before I begin with the review, I'd like to go over the grading system I'm going to introduce with this second of many gumball reviews. In my first review, I mentioned a number of factors that may contribute to my ultimate rating of a gumball, but now I would like to *attempt* to focus on 4 key factors. Here they are - flavor, composition, aroma, and look. Each will be graded on a 5 point scale. Then, with some arbitrary rounding and imprecise math, I will assign the gumball an overall score out of 5 (scale of 5 "balls").

Also, as a reminder, all of the gumballs I buy will be from They carry gumballs from every major manufacturer, and that should keep me busy for awhile. And now, onto the review.

Maison Review #2 - Fruit Freaks Gumballs

These gumballs were, well, fruity. Yes, that may seem quite apparent from their name "Fruit Freaks," but the aroma of the bag when I first opened it up was a touch overwhelming. As you can see from the picture, the gumballs are very bright and colorful - fun to look it, but would they be delightful for the taste buds?

Well, not exactly. Both the aroma and the look of the gumballs were clearly on the extreme side of the color and scent spectrum. These Fruit Freaks gumballs made themselves known. And once they really got to introduce themselves to my mouth, they certainly lived up to their gaudy outward appearance. Like the first time I smelled them, the first time I tasted them all I could think was "fruity." The overwhelming power of the fruit took me aback, but once I finally settled down into the rhythmic chewing of the gumball, I found it to be more or less pleasing. An enjoyable treat indeed (once I recovered from the initial shock of the fruit-filled atom bomb that infiltrated my unsuspecting oral cavity).

Grading time!

Aroma - 4. This one was a shocker but nonetheless enjoyable.

Look - 3.5. Fun but a touch on the gaudy side for my taste. Also, speckles generally connote spoiled food - not a pleasing sight on a chewy confection.

Composition - 4. Didn't really talk about this one in the general review, but I found this ball's composition to be quite enjoyable. Sufficient chewiness and taste did not subside for approximately 13 minutes and 46 seconds (what? you don't keep a stop-watch with you when chewing?).

Taste - 3.5. Just a little too much for me. I did enjoy it, but a slightly reduced flavor load would have allowed my olfactories and taste buds grasp the complex fruit flavor.

Overall, I give the Fruit Freaks gumball 3 and 3/4 balls out of 5.

For all the fruit fans out there, this gumball is certainly a treat. Gumball fans in general - be wary. This is one freaky fruit.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meet the king of gumball helmets

Welcome again to Maison de Gumball,

Browsing around for gumball related news, I found a great story about a man deemed the "king of gumball helmets."

Check this story out here at This guy has one hell of a collection. I think it's great to be such a dedicated collector. Plus, you can use them with gumballs! Totally cool. I think it would look great if he displayed the helmets with solid colored gumballs in the team color.

Anyway, read the story; tell me what you think. More great tidbits like that to come later.

Although it was quick, I hope you enjoyed this first/second/third stay of what I hope will be many at Maison de Gumball.

Over and out,

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The First of Many Gumball Reviews

Hello all!

This post will be the first of many dedicated to reviewing gumballs - the simple ones, the tasty ones, and the downright strange ones. The gumballs that I will be reviewing all come from They've got a great selection of flavors and varieties. Check it out!

Now, onto the first review!

Maison Review #1 - Sour Cotton Candy Gumballs

The Sour Cotton Candy Gumballs came in a case of 850 (standard 1 inch gumballs) and were in 4 different colors - a bright blue (almost cyan), a faded green, an arctic blue, and a red-ish almost maroon color.

Before I jump into an analysis of the flavor, I must note that I hold cotton candy in very, very high regard. It was perhaps my favorite food as a kid, and I ate the stuff by the truck-load. Basically, before I bit into that first gumball, I had lofty expectations.

So, the pressure was high on these gumballs, and they most certainly delivered. The authentic cotton candy taste was there, and the slight sour flavor added a whole other level of complexity to the overall taste and composition of the ball's flavor. Honestly, the sweetness of the cotton candy flavor might have been a little overwhelming if not for the addition of the sour. The two balance each other quite well, and the result is an excellent example of gumball handiwork.

A little more background information is needed now - at the end of every product review I will conclude with a rating of the gumball that reflects a number of factors including taste, flavor, composition, sweetness, savorability, tang, zest, and aroma.

I give the Sour Cotton Candy Gumballs 4 balls out of 5. An all around tasty product that I'd recommend to any gumball aficionado or lover of candy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nietzsche...blowing bubbles?

So, my last post got me thinking. Nietzsche - did he blow bubble gum bubbles?

Well, I set out to find out. My research began and ended at Wikipedia. Unfortunately, there was no information to be found regarding Friedrich's chewing habits. I did, however, come up with an image of what Nietzsche blowing bubbles would have looked like.

I think if Nietzsche had chewed gumballs, he would have chewed Dubble Bubble pink gumballs from

That is all for now.

I hope you have enjoyed your stay at Maison de Gumball.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Welcome to Maison de Gumball

Hello fellow bloggers and gumball fans!

Obviously, this is my first post. I'm very excited about this opportunity to share my thoughts with you about one of my favorite topics: gumballs. Yes, gumballs - that saccharine globe that carries with it flashes of childhood exuberance.

The gumball has, in fact, permeated many media, and in this blog I hope to share those instances in which the gumball has attained a position as perhaps more than simple piece of candy. I have seen the gumball used as a symbol of childhood (in window displays at high-end fashion stores) and of technological process (more on that to come).

Yes, "gumball" may seem like a limited concept. In fact, you may be asking yourself: Shmoel - how the hell do you expect to sustain a blog on GUMBALLS? My friends, the answer lies in the gumball's sheer simplicity and flexibility of use. Think of a gumball not as a malleable piece of chewing rubber but instead as our civilization's progress. Current and future uses of the gumball will reveal the inner-workings of a complex and evolving society - one that turned a rock into a wheel and wound up with the car. Perhaps in a pink, 1 inch sphere lies the future of our very way of life.

Wow, I drifted a little off topic. Honestly, this blog will be a space for anything gumball - and that generally implies fun (and not philosophy -- interesting side-note: did Nietzsche chew gum? or, better yet, did Nietzsche blow bubbles?).

Now, please - grab a chair. Sit back, and enjoy. And, WELCOME to Maison de Gumball.