Gummy worms, invented by Trolli (photo courtesy Amazon).
 Cherry Cola Cupcake, with cherry and cola gummy candies by Goody Good Stuff. Photo © all rights reserved, courtesy Hey Little Cupcake!, a cupcake specialty shop in Manchester, England.
Today is National Gummy Worms Day. But not everybody can enjoy a juicy gummy worm.
That’s because many gummy candies are made with gelatin, an animal product that’s neither kosher nor vegetarian/vegan.
The traditional gummy candy is made with sugar, glucose syrup (more sugar), starch, flavoring, food color, citric acid and gelatin.
The first gummy candies, Gummi Bears, were produced in 1922 by Haribo, a Bonn, Germany, confectioner.
Founder Hans Riegel invented the Dancing Bear, a fruit gum made in the shape of a bear.
In 1967 the Dancing Bears became Gummi Bears, and spawned an entire zoo of gummi animals.
Worms are not zoo creatures, however, and Haribo did not invent the Gummi Worm.
Gummi Worms were introduced by another German gummi candy manufacturer, Trolli (named for forest trolls), in 1981. The U.S. Americanized “gummi” to “gummy.”
The boom in gummy popularity spawned versions that are organic, kosher and halal. For the latter two, manufacturers have substituted pectin or starch for gelatin.
Goody Good Stuff is an all-natural gummy candy line that is made with a plant-derived gum.
It eliminates the need for animal-based gelatin, while maintaining a smooth and clear consistency. There are no artificial colors or flavors and no possible allergens, such as gluten.
There are no worms, either. At this time, there are sweet and sour gummy candies in fruit, bear and cola bottle shapes.
All of the products are vegetarian (some are vegan), kosher and halal. Here’s the company website.
THINGS TO DO WITH GUMMY CANDIES
Beyond snacking, bring out the gummies for parties:
Gummy Worm Cake
Back to gummy worms: Make this easy dessert or snack recipe for “dirt cake” using Oreos, gummy worms, vanilla pudding and cream cheese. It’s appealing to adults as well as kids—really!
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