Have you ever encountered a bubble gum that was so yummy you wanted to swallow it whole? Growing up in the 80s, Marukawa was that gum for me. Not that I knew the brand. I just remember buying small boxes of four fruit-flavored gumballs and refusing to share.
It was a fond memory from early grade school, which until recently, was just that–a memory. As we were waiting to pay for our purchases at K-mart during our recent Guam vacation, I spotted a familiar box lining the counters. It was THE bubblegum! I remembered it as a gumball by Lotte, but there was no mistaking the packaging. These colorful candies, labeled Marukawa, was the one from my childhood.
I happily grabbed a pack containing 8 boxes. There were there familiar strawberry, orange and grape flavors, plus a variant that was unfamiliar to me—melon. Cracking open a pack, I was greeted by the same small gumballs. Pastel colored with a soft almost pearly sheen, it looks quite elegant—probably not a description you’d usually give gumballs.
I quickly popped all four pieces in my mouth. This is exactly the same gum I remembered. Sweet and fruity with a soft resilience. It didn’t toughen after repeated chews. It remained cottony soft and wonderfully chewy. Afterwards, I regretted not buying more but now that I have been reminded of it, I’ll definitely try looking for it locally. It’s amazing how a small thing can bring back so much in terms of memories. What candies do you miss for YOUR childhood?