Impervious to just about everything save extreme heat, beeswax chewing gum keeps indefinitely without preservatives. Regular gum bases have more elasticity than beeswax, but it doesn't limit its ability to deliver flavor; you can incorporate hundreds of non-traditional flavorings you won't find in traditional gum. Fresh herbs aromatize beeswax gum and release their oils and react with your saliva as you chew, so flavors literally form in your mouth. You can also use traditional water- or oil-based flavorings based on the standard 10-part bubblegum-flavoring formula. Use raw settled beeswax for chewing gum.
Bring a pot of water to a simmer and set a stainless-steel mixing bowl atop it. Use enough water to reach the bottom of the bowl. Place a plate or sauce in the freezer to chill.
Cut the beeswax into 1-inch pieces and place them in the mixing bowl. Allow the beeswax to melt.
Stir in sweetener and flavoring extracts or freshly chopped herbs when the beeswax reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a silicone-coated spoon or spatula to stir.
Spoon out a portion of beeswax onto the chilled plate. After it cools, chew it to test the flavoring. Adjust the flavoring and sweetness as needed.
Turn off the stove. Spoon the beeswax into a silicone mold. You can get silicone molds for gum in the baking section of the market; they're the same type used to mold chocolate candies.
Chill the mold in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Press the gum pieces out of the mold and wrap each piece in wax paper. Store the gum at room temperature.
Traditional beeswax gum has minimal elasticity. For an elastic beeswax gum, melt 2 ounces of gum-base pellets and 1 tablespoon of corn syrup for each pound of beeswax in the microwave in 10-second increments; stir the gum base every 10 seconds. Add the melted gum base and syrup to the beeswax when the beeswax reaches 150 F. You can buy gum base online and at some candy-making and craft-supply stores.
A 10-part flavor composition helps you build a balanced flavor profile, but it isn't a rule. If you get satisfying results using three or four flavors, by all means use it. When flavoring beeswax gum with extracts, 3 parts each pineapple and banana, 2 parts wintergreen and 1 part each cinnamon and clove produces the classic bubble gum flavor.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.