School’s Out For Summer: The Glue Stick Taste Test

We’re in the home stretch of June, and if you have children (who I’m sure are all unique little snowflakes), they’re probably off on summer vacation.

If you’re a teacher, I imagine you have a lot of leftover supplies sitting in your classroom, sitting around, useless. Some school supplies are actually perishable, like glue and paste. After summer, sometimes these things dry up and become unusable, which is a total waste.

I think you guys already know where this is going. Not like the post title didn’t give it away.

People give me suggestions about what to do all the time, and today is no different. One day, Davida jokingly suggested, “Dannis, why don’t you try eating paste?” I chuckled, farting loudly, thinking she couldn’t hear it, but we were on a live phone conversation and she was on speaker. Then another friend of The Pizzle, Solar Angus, piped up on a secret food Illuminati group on Facebook. He suggested a paste taste test. I guess you guys all want to see me die of constipation.

So I said to myself, while vaping ham juice, “Dannis Ree, basically people want you to die. Just eat like, a bunch of glue sticks or something and pretend you’re a dumb child.”

Glue Stick Taste Test

I went to the nearest Office Depot and found the aisle with all the glue sticks in it.

I realize that glue sticks are not exactly the same as paste, but really, there aren’t a ton of different types of paste that people commonly use. Glue sticks are much more universal.

After haphazardly throwing every flav–I mean, uh, brand of glue stick in my basket, I took a look at a few and realized that not all of them are non-toxic. In fact, there’s a fair amount of them that aren’t non-toxic. So I dumped those out on the floor and only grabbed the ones that supposedly won’t kill me. If you are trying to keep your kid alive for more than five minutes during arts and crafts time, make sure you don’t accidentally purchase poison.

If I had any solid life advice to give all of you, it is to not eat glue sticks. Instead, let me be the one that accidentally kills myself.

Glue Stick Taste Test Original Elmers

The first glue stick I tried is the classic Elmer’s All Purpose Glue Stick.

Since I am a very cultured food writer, I decided to eat the glue stick on saltine crackers, which are a nice neutral accompaniment to slices of glue stick.

Elmer’s All-Purpose Glue Stick has a waxy texture to it (I know, shocker), but the most surprising part is the fact that it has a distinct pool water flavor, which gives way to a mealy aftertaste. Imagine biting into a chlorinated disc of waxy shortening, and that’s what eating glue sticks is like.

I went to college. I’ve been published by newspapers, magazines, and online outlets as a D-level food writer. Guys, I’m what success looks like.

Glue Stick Taste Test Elmers Xtreme

Next, I tried the Elmer’s Xtreme Glue Stick.

Elmer’s Xtreme Glue Stick has less of a pool water flavor, which is much better, and it’s closer to eating something like lip balm rather than a starchy glue product. Overall, it has a clean finish, and isn’t particularly offensive. It might be called Xtreme, but it sure doesn’t taste like a finger-blasted explosion of massive glue flavor. Your father’s glue stick, on the other hand, has tons of flavor and a handy applicator tip.

By “glue stick,”I am actually referring to your father’s penis. Your mother and I are still on a break, but I’ve seen her wandering around the neighborhood. Every now and then she scratches at my window.

Glue Stick Taste Test Elmers Naturals

I was looking forward to trying the Elmer’s School Glue Naturals, because these sticks are plant-based.

Wait. Then what had I already eaten? Shit. I’m gonna die.

Elmer’s School Glue Naturals are strangely sweet. They have a perfume-like flavor that’s not entirely unpleasant, if you like eating bars of hotel soap. The stick dissolves rather quickly, leaving that soapy flavor behind, but I’ve eaten worse things. I’m sure I could plow down one of these glue sticks on a drunken evening of mayhem, washed down with some fine mouthwash cocktails.

Glue Stick Taste Test Elmers Early Learners

Elmer’s Early Learners Washable Glue Sticks are designed for very small children who need to learn the critical skill of gluing shit to the walls of your home.

If there’s anything I know about children, it’s that they really like to eat brightly-colored items, so a purple glue stick must be very enticing. It sure is enticing for a 35-year-old man.

I can happily report that Elmer’s Early Learners Washable Glue Sticks taste like the back of postage stamps without the strong pool water flavor from the standard sticks; the chlorinated taste is very subtle. 

If you’re into abusing postage stamps, then this is the glue stick for you.

Glue Stick Taste Test Scholastic Clear

At this point, I was eager to try the Scholastic brand of glue sticks, starting with the clear variety, to see if there were any major differences in brands.

Scholastic Clear Glue Sticks have an herbal flavor that melt away into a smoky, slightly burnt-rubber taste. The aftertaste is somewhat soapy, but in a different way from the Elmer’s Naturals. Given a choice between Elmer’s Naturals and Scholastic, I’d pick the Elmer’s because of its sweetness.

I’m hoping that I will never have to face this choice ever again.

Glue Stick Taste Test Scholastic Purple

Apparently purple is a very popular color for glue sticks, because Scholastic also has a deep purple colored stick.

I’ll let my notes do the talking on this one: “Very very plain. Dissolves okay. Very neutral. Good for those sensitive to flavor.”

In case you guys are wondering, I do in fact have a small notebook where I keep flavor notes on things such as this. It’s very scientific.

Glue Stick Taste Test Scholastic Blue

The Scholastic brand blue glue sticks are a very pale blue color, similar to the Elmer’s Xtreme sticks.

They taste exactly like the purple sticks. That is to say, they have very little flavor if none at all, aside from the expected starchiness. Blue isn’t a flavor, sadly. I was hoping for a hint of blue raspberry Slurpee, but I was out of luck.

Glue Stick Taste Test Avery Plain

I moved onto the next brand, Avery.

Avery’s glue sticks come in more of a lipstick tube, where the cap itself runs along the entire length of the glue stick. It’s probably like that to entice you to wipe it all over your lips and seal your mouth shut. And notice the omission of the letter “k.” It’s just “Glue Stic,” which is a very clever move by their marketing department.

At this point, I had some glue stick palate fatigue, but I know how to appreciate a plain glue stick. Plain glue sticks are like the vanilla flavor of ice cream — reliable, yet you take them for granted, especially after you’ve eaten a lot of them. Avery is about as plain as you can get, and I’m good with that. They’re starchy, with no fuss, and I’d be happy using them to glue some wontons shut for some dumplings.

Glue Stick Taste Test Avery Purple

As expected, purple Avery Glue Stics are just the same as the plain clear ones.

The color is prettier, but it’s kind of like colored Peeps. They might look nice, but they still taste really boring.

Glue Stick Taste Test Proof

I really do eat all this stuff.

There are many things to doubt in this cold, cold, world of ours, but I honestly eat everything I say I do. And it’s almost always horrible. In this case, I’m just trying to simulate being a really stupid kid, but the truth is, I’m an even dumber adult.

Glue Stick Taste Test Completed

My conclusion?

It’s all a matter of taste, just like any other taste test. If you’re into sweet things, try the Elmer’s School Glue Naturals, but beware its strange aftertaste. Avoid the other Elmer’s sticks in general unless you’re really into drinking swimming pool water. Scholastic Clear is good if you’re into the taste of burnt rubber, and Avery’s are just pretty boring.

Actually, my conclusion is really, don’t eat glue sticks, and never, ever, do anything I do on this blog.

Trust me. You’ll live longer.


  20 comments for “School’s Out For Summer: The Glue Stick Taste Test

  1. Andrew
    June 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Fun fact: put enough garlic salt into elmer’s wood glue, and it almost tastes like ranch dressing!

    …or so drunk me convinced himself a few months back when I used about a quarter bottle of glue as dressing for a head of iceberg lettuce.

    • Dennis Lee
      June 21, 2016 at 5:42 PM

      You’re the guy that did the Play-Doh Quesadillas! Drunk you is basically sober me.

  2. Alex
    June 21, 2016 at 1:37 PM

    Given the neutral, starchy flavor and binding properties of Avery, can you recommend any applications in other recipes? It must be able to help the texture of *something*…

    • Dennis Lee
      June 21, 2016 at 5:43 PM

      I bet you could thicken a sauce with it to give it a glossy quality.

      I bet this is a terrible idea.

      • neurozach
        June 21, 2016 at 9:46 PM

        A real stick-to-your-ribs recipe.

        • Dennis Lee
          June 22, 2016 at 5:25 PM

          Har har har har har yes. Also I had diarrhea a few days later. Also I guess that is the opposite of sticking to your ribs.

  3. KM
    June 21, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Now, now. We don’t want you to die.

    If you die, the “there but for the grace of God go I” gravy train stops.

    • Dennis Lee
      June 21, 2016 at 5:46 PM

      More like misery train in a gravy boat.

  4. Jared Wong
    June 21, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    I love how you can convert paste-eating (a boorish, childish hobby reserved for the loudmouthed children sitting in the corner during story time), into a high culinary art of refinement. I hope to god you’ll taste test these cookies next time. (

    • Dennis Lee
      June 21, 2016 at 5:47 PM

      Hmm. Maybe I should create an additional ganache including extra glue stick.

  5. Poutine Pete
    June 25, 2016 at 6:12 AM

    Silly Dannis. You are supposed to sniff the glue, not eat it! You should look into pasties (the meat pie, not the titty covering). They are sold all over upper Michigan and and basically a steak and potato hot pocket but made with awesome flaky kinda greasy pastry, traditionally eaten with ketchup (because Americans are dumb). You could probably have a good time shoving meat up into them pasty guts. And also I want to have you write a post that involves you making homemade pastry, because is more of a turn on than cutting a cold fat into flour.

    • Dennis Lee
      June 25, 2016 at 12:48 PM

      I’m all over your mother’s meat pie, but yes, I should have sex with a pasty which is what I’m hearing from you.

  6. September 5, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    Wow. I just found your blog and had to say: This is amazing.

    • Dennis Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 2:17 PM

      Thank you. This blog will probably kill me someday and it will be glorious.

  7. Alex
    October 7, 2016 at 11:11 PM

    You missed my workplaces brand of choice, Staples!
    Luckily they are non-toxic and I was able to try them out.
    I would say that the initial taste is certainly not unpleasant, almost oat like, but in an incredibly bland kind of way. However, after 5-10 seconds it turns to an aftertaste that I can best describe as something like durian (which tastes like ass). Not a horrible experience, but there is little to recommend. As is suggested by your article, there is no element of stickiness inside your mouth.

    • Dennis Lee
      November 6, 2016 at 3:48 PM

      I can’t believe you tried this, but now my respect for you has shot through the roof. Please do not become me. It is not a good life to live.

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