Do You Remember?

Every time I smell cloves, I am transported back in time to days spent with my grandma.  She didn’t drive much in her older years and her trips were essentially limited to church, the grocery store, the beauty parlor and her children’s homes.  But everywhere Grandma went, she took her purse just as every lady did.  I never actually looked in her purse for it was her purse and was for her own treasures and perusing, but the second she opened it, the smell wafted out and it always made my mouth water.

Her purse always smelled of Clove gum and the best part about it was, Grandma always shared.  I remember not only the smell, but also the distinctive flavor which was a strong spicy taste of cloves combined with pure sugar.  What could be better?

As I pondered this post and knowing how smells can trigger strong memories, I recently made a trip out to Cracker Barrel to pick up a pack of Clove gum because I remembered seeing it there.  I was so disappointed when the clerk told me that the company had recently gone out of business. She also told me that as the word spread that the gum would no longer be available, many had come to buy the last few packs.  Sadly I wasn’t one of them.

Do you remember Clove gum? 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2014,  All rights reserved

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6 thoughts on “Do You Remember? Clove Gum and Grandma’s purse

  1. I love the smell and taste of cloves. If a recipe calls for cloves, you can bet that I don't measure accurately but instead go to the "heaping" side of the measurement. So clove gum, yes ma'am! I also liked Teaberry.

  2. I do remember Clove gum. The company also Black Jack, Teaberry, and Beeman's, a mint gum. Black Jack was my personal favorite but I also liked Teaberry. My grandmother carried the mint.

    I don't remember my grandmother's purse smelling like mint (probably because it has a milder fragrance than cloves) but she did let my cousin and me play with her purse and its contents. I can't remember all it contained but it was such fun to look at what she had. It kept us busy on car rides and other times when we might have been boisterous when we needed to be quiet. Now I'm going to have to make my memory work hard and think about the things we saw in Gramma's purse.

    You might be able to find a few packs of Clove gum online somewhere….

  3. I don't remember Clove gum but I do remember that my mother always carried double mint gum in her purse. She would half pieces of the gum and pass it out to the five of us kids just before church started. Although I don't recall her ever telling us to stay out of her purse, it was definitely off limits. When she passed away about three years ago I had to go through several of her purses while cleaning out her closets. A faint scent of double mint gum mixed with the scent of face powder and lipstick still lingered in her purses. One of those purses found its way home with me. Yes, smells do trigger strong memories.

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