It may have spelt the end for Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but for two west London "food architects", flavour-changing chewing-gum might be about to propel them into the big time.
The Old Etonians Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, both 27, claim to have solved a gastronomic puzzle that has baffled the most molecular of chefs since Roald Dahl first gave them a taste for it in his 1964 children's novel – chewing gum that changes flavour.
The two, whose previous creations include glow-in-the-dark jelly and a punch lake, say three years of research in their lab in London's foodie heartland of Borough has led to a prototype gum that starts out strawberry-flavoured before slowly becoming chocolate.
The gastronomic high technology at its heart are colloidosomes – microscopic edible capsules which release different flavours at different stages of the chewing process.
They hope to create classic Wonka flavours, although the "Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum" that puts paid to Miss Beauregarde in the book begins with tomato soup and changes to roast beef and baked potato, before a final "course" of blueberry pie and ice-cream, may still be some way off.
Mr Bompas and Mr Parr are launching an "artisan chewing gum factory" in west London's Whiteley's shopping centre, where some 40,000 combinations are available, including gin and tonic, chicken kiev and foie gras.
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