What Is a Jawbreaker?

Whenever I want a sweet treat, I immediately reach for something that could possibly put me in the hospital and require years of painful dental work. That’s right, I go for a jawbreaker! Jawbreakers are great for people that want to eat candy, but only a little bit at a time over a period of several days. But what is a jawbreaker, exactly? How are jawbreakers made? How do you eat a jawbreaker? And, possibly most importantly for your weekend planning, how long does it take to finish a jawbreaker? Let’s bite into jawbreakers!

What is a jawbreaker? 

Jawbreakers are a super old school candy and have been around in sweet shops for well over a century.  It’s a hard round candy that has several layers—kind of like the Earth. Since they’re so hard, they’re usually eaten slowly, a little at a time. I mean, you don’t want to bite these suckers. It’s right there in the name; it may break your jaw. Jawbreakers are also known as “gobstoppers.” Gob is some old slang for mouth over in England. Children’s author and scary man Roald Dahl wrote about an “everlasting gobstopper” in his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

What are jawbreakers made of?

To make a jawbreaker, you’re going to need a lot of sugar. Jawbreakers are made almost entirely of sugar. There may be some calcium and wax added to make the outside shiny and there may be some bubblegum in the middle. But, for the most part, jawbreakers are made out of sugar. 

How are jawbreakers made?

Jawbreakers are made using a hot pan process. There are large cylindrical tumblers that are filled with sugar and rotated. As the granular sugar tumbles, hot liquid sugar is added. The liquid sugar attaches to the sugar grains and forms a layer in the jawbreaker. More and more layers are added this way until the jawbreaker is complete.Then it is sent to be polished, bagged, shipped, and sold. The entire process can take up to two or three weeks!

How to eat a jawbreaker correctly?

Be very careful when eating a jawbreaker. Don’t try to bite into it as hard as you can. That’s a rookie move. There are a couple of ways you could go about eating a jawbreaker that won’t actually break your jaw. You can try smashing the jawbreaker with a hammer. Break it into smaller pieces so it’s easier to handle. You could try pre-soaking it in some water to break it down a little. Or you could just try eating it by sucking on your jawbreaker. 

How long does it take to finish a jawbreaker?

It takes a long time to get through a whole jawbreaker by licking it and sucking on it, but it’s worth it. So how long does it take to finish a jawbreaker? According to candy seller, SugarRush, the record for eating the Mega Bruiser Jawbreaker, which is pretty huge (its diameter is over three inches), is 17 days, 4 hours, 8 minutes, and 19 seconds. 

When you’re not eating your jawbreaker, be sure to keep it in a ziploc baggie between sessions. I have been working on one jawbreaker for over a year now and it’s not getting any smaller. Wait, I just double checked and it’s a marble. Never mind.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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