Drowning Goldbären

Not as historic recipe, just a quick home story. My son is with me for the school holidays. Today, we went through his sweet box and found the bag of Goldbären had expired. He decided that he didn’t want to eat them in that case and, after some deliberation, chose to put them in water instead to see what would happen.

This may need a bit of explaining: Goldbären, the original gummy bears, were invented in 1922 by Hans Riegel in Bonn and built the fortune of his eponymous company Haribo. Generations of children in Germany grew up with them and have heard stories of what happens if you put one in water. Some allege it grows to ten times its size, others say it will convert itself into a thick gel absorbing all the liquid until it fills up or even overflows the container. Tales of what happened when someone threw gummy bears into a bowl of Bowle are legion.

The truth is a bit more prosaic: After eight hours, the bears swelled to double their size, bled colour, and softened, but they retained a recognisable shape and are basically just soggy. So now we know this. I look forward to tomorrow morning’s observations.

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