Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Holidays from GumAlert!

Hello readers! We wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry/Happy/Blessed whatever it is you celebrate!


We may have a bit of a lull on new posts because there's a new chewer in the GumAlert family! I am happy to announce the birth of my first daughter, Delilah Charlene, born at 10:01am on Christmas Eve, 9 pounds, 2 ounces and 21 inches long. She is just beautiful and Mommy Shannon and Aunt Katie are busy loving her.

New posts in the new year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Trident Splash Strawberry with Lime

Flavor: I thought I had tried this gum a while ago when it first came out, and didn't like it, so I fully expected to give a negative review on this one. Trident Splash Strawberry with Lime is a delightful mellow strawberry flavor with an awesome tart blast of lime gel in the middle. The lime is, at first, perfectly tart and as it dissipates, the strawberry that's left is really nice - sweet, but not too sweet. Very nice flavor medley.

Texture: As with most, if not all, pellet gums, it's coated with a crunchy candy shell. This gum's shell is a little softer than most, so you don't have those abrasive shards of shell. It's just enough to give the chew a little texture, and as the shell dissolves the gum you're left with is smooth and pliable, not to soft and not too hard, and no squeak at all to speak of.

Overall: Neither Katie nor I are really pellet gum people, but we are able to judge objectively, and this gum really is the bee's knees. I can't find any fault at all with it, and if I were a fruity pellet gum person, this gum most likely would be my favorite. I'll definitely chew it again.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stride Forever Fruit

Flavor: When this gum first came out a couple years ago, I remember thinking it could be my new favorite. It has the same pineapple-citrus-peach flavor as Trident Tropical Twist (an old favorite) with an added bonus coconut undertone. It's a little too sweet for me, and the longer you chew, the more nutri-sweety it seems. After chewing a whole pack, this flavor gets old to me. It's like drinking too many malibu bay breezes at a beach bar-- they're delicious, sure, but it's the sort of thing that's better rotated with other flavors, not dominating your palate for a whole night.

Texture: The texture here is well done. A nice bite, maintains shape and flavor for a long time. But, as with all Stride varieties, I feel it forming sores on my tongue as I write.

Overall: It's a good gum, a vacation gum, if you will. Throw a pack into your weekly rotation, why don't you, and add some zest to your ordinary gum-chewing experience.

Rating:ooo (three gumballs)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stride Winterblue

Flavor: At first I was confused by the what "Winterblue" was supposed to taste like, but I actually think it's quite a clever little new flavor creation by Stride. "Wintergreen" has become known as a flavor - there are Wintergreen Tic-Tacs, and now Wintergreen Trident, at the very least. Winterblue is a kind of similar mint - really mild. There's no blast of flavor or sinus-clearing menthol explosion, it's just a nice, easy mint. This is a gum for breath freshening or thirst quenching, but I don't think it would do much damage to garlic bread breath or fool a cop at an alcohol checkpoint if you've been downing carafes of merlot.

Texture: Eh, it's alright. It starts off pretty tough and never does soften enough to really chew with ease. There's a bit more effort involved in the chew then I prefer, and it's got quite a noticeable squeak.

Overall: This is a decent gum. It reminds me a little bit of Original Trident, but the rough texture and the fact that it is not, in fact, Original Trident, prohibits from giving it a very high rating. It's worth the try, and I'd purchase it again if my options were limited.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trident Wintergreen

Flavor: At first, this gum had a lot of potential, reminiscent of Necco Canada Mints, or Wintergreen Tic Tacs, a nice mellow and subtly sweet mint. But it quickly devolved into your ordinary, run-of-the-line mint flavor, subpar especially for a brand as tried and true as Trident. My roommate described it best after the initial bite, as “a wash of aspartame in my saliva.” His face whilst describing the aftertaste spoke volumes of yuck.

Here's where Trident really falls short. It's too hard at first, way too chewy, and it quickly is mushed with this rush of cold saliva. I'm not sure what causes it-- to me, it's as if it forms a foam in my mouth, although others didn't agree. The longer you chew, the more foamy it gets, but it does stay rubbery at the core. It's just a sloppy mess in your mouth.

Overall: Blech. I'll have mercy for the initial zing, but this one really falls short. At least chewing Trident helps fight cavities.

Rating: oo two gumballs

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sugar Free Fruit Stripe

Flavor: Yikes! Stripes! Fruit Stripe Gum! In new Sugar Free Fruit Stripes, there are five flavors: Wet N' Wild Melon, Cherry, Lemon, Orange, and Peach Smash. I don't know what's so special about Melon and Peach that they deserve descriptive adjectives, but whatever. In an effort to get rid of this gum sooner, I'll review all five flavors here, despite the fact that this high of a dose of Aspartame in one sitting may give me cancer. (PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE.)

Wet N' Wild Melon: This is the Green-wrapped stick in the pack. I don't know which of the other flavors would be green... so I'm assuming it's supposed to be melon. Starts off with a tart blast and fades into a nice sweet-tart flavor. However -- I don't really taste much melon at all. Fades to nothing very quickly.

Lemon: The yellow-wrapped stick actually tastes like lemon. A really nice lemon, in fact! Lemon isn't a flavor often seen in sugarless gum, so I was pleasantly surprized by this. It tastes a lot like Country Time Lemonade, and it's actually hard to beleive that this lemon is sugarless. Also fades quickly.

Orange: Again, great orange flavor from the get-go that doesn't at all taste sugarfree. This could be a cube of Hubba Bubba. It's great. Fades fast (notice a pattern here?)

Peach Smash: The stick itself is blue and yellow. Why? It's an adequate peach, but certainly not as fantastic as the Lemon or Orange. This one fades away to nothing much faster than either of those two, as well. Not one of the better flavors in the pack.

Cherry: Decent news for our cherry-loving gum friend out there - this cherry is pretty darn good at the get-go. None of that horrible mentholy cherry we've seen in other cherry sugarfree gums. Fruit Stripe got this one spot-on, but unfortunately the quick-fade and the 4 other flavors in the do not warrant a purchase of this if all you're looking for is cherry. Look elsewhere.

Texture: This is where Fruit Stripes loses me entirely. The texture of this gum is absolutely horrible. It starts off bad and gets worse, eventually resembling the feeling of chewing those horrible tasteless Halloween was lips, or what was leftover after you sucked the juice out of those little bottle-shaped wax things. You can't blow bubbles or crack it in any way - if you try to spread it out over your tongue it thins out into an indistinguishable web of grossness. If it held its own texture-wise, this gum could have been great.

Overall: Texture completely ruins it, but one positive thing about this gum is that every wrapper has a temporary tattoo on it. Bonus! Having just chewed 5 pieces of this gum for this review, my desk is now strewn with little multi-colored Zebras playing sports. If I wasn't wearing a short-sleeved shirt and/or didn't work for a company whose mascot IS a Zebra, I'd be proudly wearing a sleeve of Zebra tattoos, because I am 5 years old and that would be awesome. So while the texture of the gum negates any positives in the flavor column, the addition of the tattoos on the wrapper adds the extra gumball to the rating.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sugarfree Juicy Fruit

Flavor: I must begin by saying that a new colleague of mine told me about this gum after reading this blog, and following up on our conversation purchased me a large car-sized plastic container-full to test it out. And a fine endorsement it was. He and I, along with my new boss, all tried the gum out together, and the result was fairly unanimous. We all recall Juicy Fruit as it was in our childhood when it was made exclusively with sugar, and we all accept and appreciate the Juicy Fruit as it evolves with all the aspartame and malitol (and sorbitol, etc., etc....) That said, this fantastic sugar-free rendition of a classic flavor left us all reminiscing about our pasts, how we ate it when we were kids, warm and gooey out of a grandfather's car or secretly in choir class. The flavor is just really well done.

Texture: The only complaint that any of us had regarded the pellet shape. Why is this change necessary? Sure, folks are fans of the big econosize jars for their car cup holders or desktops, but why take that familiar stick from us, we loyal and moderately health-conscious fans? Taking away the sugar is change enough, Juicy Fruit. It's a traditional gum, and it should remain as traditional as possible. The pellets, in my opinion, are inferior, despite the crunchy start. Perhaps the guys over at Juicy Fruit felt the crunch might make up for the lack of sugar, but I really don't find it necessary. The pellets are too small, and disappear quickly despite a really balanced and enjoyable chew. I need two to really feel satisfied. But once I am satisfied, I'll tell you what, it's worth it.

Overall: Thank you, Juicy Fruit, for catering to my sugar-free needs. I can once again enjoy this unidentifiable flavor to excess without worrying about damaging my pearly (or slightly off-pearly) whites. If it weren't for the pellet structure, I'd give it five gumballs.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

**Check out Shannon's review of the classic Juicy Fruit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trident Cinnamon

Flavor: It's a nice, sweet cinnamon. It gives a little bit of tang to your tounge, but it's not too overwhelming that you can't leave it between your gums and teeth for a minute or two if you need to hide the fact that you're chewing. I like that the packaging features actual cinnamon sticks. I feel like most cinnamon candies and gums lose sight of the fact that cinnamon is a spice, instead choosing to market it as some kind of XTREEEEEEM HEAT or something.

Texture: Starts off a little too soft, but rapidly congeals to a fantastic texture for a prolonged chew. It's a bit softer than most gums, but I don't consider that a bad thing, necessarily. It does develop a squeak (I need to rapid-fire test a bunch of cinnamon gums to see if it's a cinnamon thing) but it's nothing that would cause embarrassment in church or anything.

Overall: I had a hankering for some cinnamon gum the other day, and I realized that it's been a while since we've reviewed any cinnamon here at GumAlert, so I picked up a pack of Trident Cinnamon. It's a choice I didn't regret. My pack is a little different than the one pictured above - instead of "Long Lasting Flavor" mine says "A Classic is Back!" I never really noticed its absence, but a quick Google search yeilds much information, including a blog dedicated to "Saving Trident Cinnamon." It had apparently been discontinued a couple years ago. Many thanks, Trident, for bringing it back. It's a valued member of your comprehensive line of gums, and one I will turn to again when a cinnamon craving hits.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hubba Bubba OUCH!

Flavor: What does it matter? It's bubblegum. I'd even go to far as to call it a superior bubblegum. (Most sugarfree versions of sugared brands of gum are superior, as a general rule. I long to find sugarfree bubbletape again.) But, big deal. It's impossible to rate this gum objectively.

Texture: Good. Great. Fine. Awesome. Who cares?

Overall: Okay, here we go. I'm hoping that anyone over the age of, say, 25, can feel me on this one.

I vividly remember OUCH! gum when I was a kid. It was most definitely sugared gum, of the fruity variety (though it wasn't a very strong fruit flavor - I actually think it was more bubblegum than fruit.) It came in a band-aid tin which made it completely awesome to a kid. It was an actual metal tin that I remember re-using for other gum, candies, change, whatever.

The gum itself was wrapped in a paper wrapper that had a printing of a band-aid on it. Why this was awesome, I have no idea, but it was indeed quite awesome. I remember feeling like I was the shizz when a classmate would be all, "Got any gum?" and I'd whip out my band-aid tin of OUCH! gum and hand them a piece of band-aid wrapped sugary goodness. Oh, it was awesome.

Apparently, Hubba Bubba bought the rights to OUCH! gum years later and redesigned the package. I feel like this redesign was after my time, as I don't remember seeing it or tasting it. I can't tell you much about it, but I found this picture online:

So what we can deduce is: OUCH! went corporate, but Hubba Bubba had the brains to, at the very least, continue packaging it in its signature metal band-aid tin. I can't speak to the sugar content (anyone know if the new verson was sugarfree?) or the taste (it looks like there are three flavors in the pack - grape, watermelon and strawberry) but the look new look was fun, whimsical, and nostalgic.

But now. Now! Oh, Hubba Bubba. What have you done??

It's just a friggin' pack of gum! It's a pack. of. sugarfree. bubblegum. Who cares? The only thing reminiscent of the OUCH! gum of my youth is the band-aid on the front of the package, and the OUCH! logo. And that's where it ends. The front of the package proudly declares, "Games INSIDE!" and you open up the pack to reveal:
Oh, big WHOOP. "How Many? How many crutches are outside the emergency room?" And you have to search through the crudely drawn picture to find the 5 obvious crutches. There's a little bubble "LOOK FOR MORE GAMES IN PACKS OF OUCH!" as if the 0.4 seconds of fun I had searching for crudely drawn crutches would be enough to draw me back to buy more OUCH! gum. Hardly. There's not even any band-aid printing on the gum wrappers. It's JUST. GUM. Katie and my husband both think that the "OUCH!" logo on the front of the package actually works as a reason NOT to buy the gum - that it's some kind of super sour gum that will hurt you by chewing it.

Oh, I have been hurt by chewing OUCH! gum, Hubba Bubba. But not on my tongue, in my heart. No matter how flavorful this gum may be, no matter how perfect the bubbles it blows or how long the consistency lasts, Hubba Bubba has struck out big time with this one. They haven't even tried. I implore you to boycott OUCH! gum, and just buy Extra Classic Bubble if bubblegum flavor is the hankering you have.
Rating: o (one gumball)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Doublemint Gum

Flavor: I've got to say this tastes like a totally new formula, all around. That said, it's probably the most refreshing sugar-based gum around. Unlike its other minty competitors, this gum is not at all sugary-- it's refreshing, cooling and pleasant, no grimy aftertaste that lingers on your teeth and in your salivary glands. I investigated this phenomena and discovered that this gum is quite unique: In addition to sugar, this gum also contains aspartame. It's the hybrid of gumz! Gum goes green.

Texture: I don't ever remember this gum having little green flecks in it, a la Icebreakers. These flecks are not bothersome (as they often are in Icebreakers) however, as they're not at all detectable in the texture of the gum. I must surmise that they therefore simply exist to enhance the flavor (and, perhaps, even the visual aesthetic). The texture of this chew is soft, like a sugar-free gum, but firm, like a sugar gum. The bite, much like the flavor, is long-lasting and enjoyable. (I have to add that when chewed for an extended period of time, it does develop something of a “squeak,” but not too badly.)

Overall: Ladies and gentlemen, sing the lyrics with me, “Double your pleasure, double your fun. It's the right one, the Doublemint gum.” They make a solid case here. But I have to ask-- is it really worth ten calories of sugar? Don't get me wrong, I'm not on a diet, but this gum is really good, and I'd like to eat a lot of it. Does that ten calories of sugar that can rot your teeth and that might count in some people's journals as “points” really bring this gum that far above sugar-free varieties of nearly the same caliber? I guess we'll just have to wait for all those sugar-substitute cancer study results to decide.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stride Uber Bubble

Flavor: Stride Uber Bubble is a nice bubblegum, but that's about as far as it goes. As I've mentioned in past reviews, Katie and I are on an ongoing quest for a gum as good as our long-gone all-time favorite, Extra Original Bubble. Uber Bubble teases you with tanginess, makes you think that it's going to give you a hint of semi-sour, but it just levels out to be your plain old bubblegum. Like I said - it's nice, but I don't see what's so special about this bubble that they felt fit to call it "Uber."

Texture: It's definitely chewable, albeit a little bit too firm for my taste. From a bubblegum, I expect more blow-friendly pliablility to maximize bubbles.

Overall: There's something wrong with this gum. I have meant to review it sooner, but every pack I bought has gone bad somehow. Once the protective plastic is removed from the packaging, you have a period of about two weeks to chew it. (Which, probably, is not a problem for most chewers, but I as a Gum Girl always have no fewer than 5 packs of gum with me at all time.) After a couple weeks, the gum turns like... wet? It gets all sticky and disgusting in the packaging and is completely inedible. It happened to three packs of Uber Bubble I have bought, and if this didn't happen it would have rated at least a 3, but most likely a 4. This weird problem aside, it's one of the better tasting bubblegums on the market right now.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Clove Chewing Gum

Flavor: This is another "classic" flavor, marketed with Beeman's and Blackjack. Clove, much like Blackjack, tastes a lot like black licorice. There's a lot less information about it online, and it seems to be clumped with the other classics without much distinction. It's sort of spicy, has that herbal taste you'd expect from clove gum. Indeed, the longer I chew it, the more the taste replicates those little stems my mom used to stick in the ham at Easter. I wouldn't recommend sticking a piece of gum in your ham, however.

Texture: It's a solid texture, almost too firm. It has that weird foamy-spit side effect though, which kind of grosses me out. But otherwise, it's a chewing gum, not for bubbles, just for a good chew.

Overall: It's ok. Much like my review of Beeman's, I hesitate to really get in there and review this gum beyond the basics. It's a classic, a base from which other gums have gleaned inspiration over the years. But, I must say, I haven't seen "clove" flavor much of anything these days, save the cloves themselves and the cigarettes (which I also wouldn't recommend sticking into your Easter ham).

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Extra Fruit Sensations Berry Smoothie

Flavor: I gotta give it to Wrigley, they hit spot-on with this one. The flavor is just awesome. It starts out with a creamy berry texture, and with continued chewing, the creaminess fades a bit and you're hit with a tart blast of tangy berry. It's quite delicious, and I can imagine the right mix of berries and cream tasting exactly like this. I have to admit, though, that it would probably almost be considered too sweet for some - I definitely couldn't see chewing this gum on any regular basis, nor it is functional to freshen the breath. It's just too much.

Texture: Here's where it falls apart, literally. It starts off well and stays pleasant for a short time - Firm, softening into a pleasant malleable wad. At around the 10-15 minute mark the gum starts to lose any semblance of cohesion. It gets very tacky and starts sticking to your teeth and turning mushy. If I didn't just spit out the piece I was chewing, it would have triggered my gag reflex. Of course, being Extra, the flavor lasts through this metamorphosis, but the gum itself becomes unchewable so really, what's the point?

Overall: Nice try, Wrigley's. While the ROI on your R & D dollars is paying off in terms of flavor, how about next time you invest some funds into making sure the gum doesn't turn into an amoebic lump of plasma, as well? I recommend buying this gum once to try - or better yet, splitting the cost of a pack with a friend. I think one, two sticks at most of this gum will be enough for anyone to experience the novelty of smoothie-in-gum-form, and the rest of the pack will inevitably go to waste.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Trident Layers Green Apple + Golden Pineapple

This review is sponsored by our friends at Trident!

Flavor: Much like it's strawberry-citrus counterpart, this gum starts off with a bang, a super sweet and spot-on flavor that explodes with the first and second bite. I think it's the goop that holds the two pieces of gum together that gives it the kick(pictured, it's the pinapple slice, but in reality I think its just a generic flavor burst). I've got to say that I don't taste much pineapple, really any at all. It's pretty much 100 percent green apple-- and a fine representation of this common sugar-based flavor, don't get me wrong. I'm just not a huge green apple fan, so I'm not crazy about this gum, but I imagine that anyone who prefers green Jolly Ranchers, this gum'll be a refreshing new experience.

Texture: It's pretty much a sandwich, using your tried-and-true Trident for bread and this sticky bright green middle for meat (or cheese or like tempeh or something, if you're a vegetarian). It stands up to the Trident texture, holds its own for a long time, but the flavor does fade rather quickly as I feel like it's mostly packed into the meat-part (or cheese or soy gluten or whatever).

Overall: First of all, let me just say thank you to the folks over at Trident for sending us free samples of their exciting new line of gumz. That said, I must reiterate a very important pact that Shannon and I made a long time ago: we will never allow free samples to sway the honesty of our reviews. (We're professional like that.) So, this gum is pretty good, but I fear it's lost in the marketing... why does it have to be two fruits? The inside part is just a darker color green. I felt cheated out of pineapple, and so I'm left feeling a little unsatisfied. I can't offer any alternate marketing suggestions... as “Meat or Cheese or Veggie Burger on Gumbread Green Apple Sandwich” doesn't sound any better. Or does it? Mmm. Gumbread.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

***See our review of Trident Layers Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus here!***

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Juicy Fruit

Flavor: I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the US who doesn't know what Juicy Fruit tastes like. I also think you'd he hard-pressed to find someone who'd be able to accurately describe the flavor. What is Juicy Fruit? Wikipedia's theories range from peach and pineapple, to banana. A google search also revealed that there's apparently a fruit called a "jackfruit" that is remarkably similar to the flavor of Juicy Fruit. I've never had a jackfruit, so it's hard to say. If I had to pick one fruit to compare it to, it would probably be banana, but that's pretty big stretch, although the actual pieces of gum themselves are now yellow. I could have sworn growing up that Juicy Fruit was white. Changing them to yellow, I think, lends the chewer to lean towards a banana expectation anyway. At any rate, it's a good flavor, very sweet and very sugary (though Wrigley's has recently added aspartame as a sweetener in addition to sugar, corn syrup, and dextrose, not only to Juicy Fruit, but Big Red and I assume their other classic flavors as well,) but certainly pleasant. It does turn quickly, however, and instead of losing its flavor and becoming tasteless, it leaves a bitter "aftertaste" that lingers on the tongue during the chew, and long after you dispose of it.

Texture: Certainly much softer than sugarfree gums that I am used to, but it's definitely not bad at all. When you chew a too-soft sugarless gum, it tends to fall apart in your mouth, but Juicy Fruit has a nice cohesion to it. It's easy to crack and blow teeny-tiny bubbles with.

Overall: We got a request some time ago from a reader who wanted to see Wrigley's original gums reviewed, and I gotta say that this is harder to do than any Orbit or Extra. I'm reminded of the movie City of Angels, when the dead guy asked the chick what a pear tasted like. She was like, "It tastes like a pear, you don't know what a pear tastes like?" And that's what reviewing Juicy Fruit is like. It tastes like Juicy Fruit, you don't know what Juicy Fruit tastes like?
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beeman's Chewing Gum

Flavor: I feel like a film critic reviewing Gone With the Wind. Can it be done? Can I make an unbiased judgement on a gum marketed specifically for being a revived classic? Of course I can. Originally invented by Dr. Edward E. Beeman in the late 19th century, the gum was made of pepsin powder and chicle, and was intended to aid to digestion. To be fair, let me just remind the reader that these ingredients are nowhere to be found in this modern concoction. That said, it initially smells and tastes sweet and minty, reminiscent of Canada Mints, of which I am a huge fan. But the flavor fades quickly and leaves that nasty sugar aftertaste-while-chewing that makes you reach for a piece of Trident or a toothbrush.

Texture: It's a decent gum, I imagine a definite upgrade from chicle and pepsin, although it's not done much for my rumbling stomach. It was surprisingly soft and the stick itself a lot more malleable than I expected-- I'd thought it would crumble like many other sugar variety sticks. It gets tough quick though, so enjoy it while it lasts.

In all fairness, this is not the original Beeman's, and I imagine there are some folks out there who remember the original taste and can vouch that this Frankenstein revival doesn't compare at all. (Although, I imagine Dr. Beeman's first followers might be sticking to Freedent, you know, for the dentures.) I won't be buying this again, but maybe someone who remembers original Beeman's might be able to shed some light on the subject and pursuade me to up the rating for reasons of nostalgia or reverence.

Rating:oo two gumballs

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ice Cubes White Mango Kiwi Cooler

Flavor: Very mild fruit. I get a hint of mango - no kiwi, really - and it lasts for an acceptable amount of time before it fades out. The packaging boasts "WHOA! -Refreshing Mango Kiwi POWER STRIPE and Cooling Xylitol!" What? I don't know that the POWER STRIPE has anything to do with the flavor, and Xylitol is in plenty of sugarfree gums. It's just an artificial sweetener... has nothing to do with the cooling sensation that is Ice Cube's trademark. Regardless, Mango Kiwi Cooler has a pleasing flavor. I don't know that I'd trust it to cover up garlic breath, but it tastes good enough.

Texture: I never chew Ice Cubes gum, and this is why. Back when the line first came out I tried it (of course), but I haven't even really been paying attention to new offerings or anything since then. The texture begins downright awful. Now, I'm a big fan of "crunchies" in my gum, and these crunchies just don't cut it. They barely crunch, they act more like a wax, and they stick in your teeth for the first three minutes of the chew. The "cooling" of Ice Cubes, I think, detracts from the texture - it's way too grainy at first. I do have to say, though, that with persistence it does even out to a great chewable texture. If only the stupid "cooling" wouldn't stay in the back of my throat for so long, it'd be near perfect.

Overall: I was really surprized to get emails about Ice Cubes gum, since I've never really thought of it as a viable gum line and am consistently surprized to see that it still exists. Apparantly lots of people like it, and there's something to be said for that. I'm still not a fan, and I woudln't buy it to chew for my own pleasure, but I think I can be neutral enough to say: This gum's alright.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ice Cubes Peppermint

Flavor: We've had two separate requests for reviews of Ice Cubes. I hereby apologize for our ignorance in not acknowledging them sooner-- Ice Cubes are good quality sugar-free gum that lots of people really like, and for some reason we've not reviewed it once. I did buy a pack to review one time, and it was gone before I had the chance to do so. That said, I chose the most basic Ice Cube for our first foray into this type of gum. The peppermint is right up there with the best of them-- it is cooling and pleasant (touting “with Cooling Xylitol”) and quite refreshing. The flavor lasts a while, long enough to freshen your breath, and it lingers for a little while after that. It's a solid mint-alternative for folks who chew gum for the obvious reason: to freshen your breath.

Texture: I sort of have always had a problem with Ice Cubes, only because I can't get the thought out of my head that it's just a stick gum that someone played with until it was in the shape of a cube. That neurosis aside, I have to say that the texture of the cube is nice, it has those crunchies that a lot of people are big fans of, although I feel like they could be a little more crystallized so that they crunched more easily-- they seem to get lodged in my teeth for a while, but it's not bad. It has a nice preliminary chew, and tastes actually sugary. It maintains a good bite for a long time, too (as well as flavor), although it is a bit too soft for me after a while-- but to each his own. It's a well-executed concept and final product, through and through.

There are two reasons why the first pack I bought of this gum didn't last to a review: 1. It was a quick and easy breath freshener that I consumed compulsively, and 2. the packaging totally sucks. Almost invariably, every single time I've had a cardboard box of Ice Cubes in my bag, the unwrapped cubes have come spilling out onto the bottom of my bag. Unlike other less-than-ideal packages, the cubes are practically inedible once they reach the depths of my (admittedly disgusting) purse because they're not wrapped individually. I don't think that each cube needs to be wrapped persay, don't get me wrong-- the fact that they're already unwrapped makes them the quick-and-easy breath mint you love to chew. They have come out with the big plastic container that's become popular with other pellet gums-- but it's a whopping $3 a pack, and besides that, it's really cumbersome and not portable in a pocket or a purse (good for stashing in your desk at the office, but that's about it).

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Trident Layers Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus

This review is sponsored by our friends at Trident!

Texture: I'm deviating from the format here and doing texture first. This was an exciting New Gum for Katie and I. When I first saw it in Target, I picked up both of the available flavors.

When you open the piece, you'll notice that it;s about twice as thick as normal Trident gums. It's got three layers - a hot pink sticky substance sandwiched in between two gum-layers. The middle layer obviously isn't gum, but a sugarless "sugary" candy goo designed for a flavor punch. It actually is so gooey that it sticks to the wrapper a bit, leaving a pink line on the wrapper.

At first, it's a nice chew. A little firm at first but it quickly softens into a pleasant malleability. Unfortunately, it just as quickly degrades into an overly tacky wad that sticks to the teeth, and then loses cohesion and becomes way too soft.

Flavor: The middle "goo layer" provides a citrusy blast on first chew, and it fades into a nice strawberry-citrus medley that lasts a decent amout of time. Although it's not a huge complaint, the artificial sweetener taste is strong in this one.

Overall: Trident Layers Wild Strawberry + Wild Citrus was a bit of a disappointment. The sleek packaging and the stealthy launch of the new line (it's still not on the Trident website) was worth a lot more than the gum ended up being in the end. Overall, I think this is a gimmicky gum, worth a chew for novelty's sake but I definitely can't see this being anyone's favorite.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

***See our review of Trident Layers Green Apple + Golden Pineapple here!***

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bacon Gumballs

Flavor: I cannot believe I have this in my mouth right now. (That's what she said.) It's definitely bacon, but kind of a faux bacon-bits kind of bacon. It's sickeningly sweet and not at all salty. Dear God.

Texture: Very soft, loses shape and size quickly.

Overall: This may be one of the most disgusting things I have ever had the displeasure to experience. I'm feeling really nauseous as I type this - I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm 5 months pregnant and easily nauseated. I apologize for the length of this review but I just don't have it in me to chew it long enough for anything more substantial. I fear I actually might vomit. I can't even see a true bacon connosseiur finding this gum palatable.
Rating: o (one gumball)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hubba Bubba Max Sweet & Sassy Cherry

Flavor: As avid (and often compulsive) gumchewers, my sister and I tend to favor sugarfree varieties, to ward off cavities and all that stuff we were taught when we were little. We received an email recently from a reader, TS, who wondered about the absence of cherry gum on the market. He reported that he loves cherry and yet has noticed a definite void in cherry gums. Shannon did some research and found that, indeed, there is quite a lack of cherry varieties, nearly a complete hole in our favorite sugarfree brands. There was once an Eclipse cherry that tasted startlingly of cherry cough syrup and that didn't stay on the shelves for very long. Shannon postulated that perhaps the cherry flavor doesn't translate well to the sugar substitutes, and she's probably right. Hubba bubba tastes exactly like cherry candy-- cherry blow pops, cherry laffy taffy, cherry jolly ranchers. It's delicious, much like other sugary cherry candies, and the flavor actually lasts a fairly long time for a sugar-based kids gum.

It's extraordinarily meaty, like most sugary gums. The pieces are enormous at first because the sugar tends to dissolve more readily than substitute sweeteners in other gums. I have to say, the sheer girth, and the soft, malleable form was refreshing. We've been blowing these pathetic little bubbles and rating them as excellent, but it's not until now that I am thoroughly enjoying the bubble blowing as much as the chewing. And it's been that way for almost 15 minutes now. It's a hubba bubba of a gum.

TS, I implore you to seek out this gum, it's a true delight. But, be warned, sugary gum leads to lots of scary things if you chew it to excess (and you'll want to chew this gum to excess), like root canals and fillings (shudder). I'll get off my soap box for this one, though, and commend hubba bubba for a job well done. It might not be sugar free, but it sure is worth it.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Trident Xtra Care Cool Citrus

Flavor: When I first put this gum in my mouth, I was zinged with a surprising and pleasant orange flavor reminiscent of orange tic tacs. I immediately texted Shannon and let her know that she would approve of this gum. But the tic tac-y goodness lasted but an instant in my chewing experience. It almost immediately settled into a much more subtle orange, one commonly found in creamsicle orange varieties. Even that flavor doesn't last very long, though. I'm not sure what "Cool Citrus" is trying to say, there's nothing lemony about it, it's straight-up orange, through and through. I guess there aren't many adjectives beginning with "o." Opulent Orange. Outstanding Orange.

Texture: It's better than the other Xtra care gums I've tried, but it leaves you in the end with a grainy sort of texture, a roughness to the gum blob that isn't very pleasing on the tongue.

Overall: I can't really think of any grand, all-encompassing final words on this gum. It's a fair substitute for orange tic tac lovers who need a break from the sugary gunk they leave on your teeth. But for a gum chewer, it leaves something to be desired. It's a good gum, and apparantly it's really good for your teeth. Give it a go.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nicorette® 2mg – Fruit Chill

There used to be a review here, but for reasons better left unsaid, it's not here anymore.
We'd love if any brave quitters would write us a guest review of any flavor of Nicorette gum!
E-mail us at gumgirls@gmail.com and let us know if you're interested!

Monday, July 20, 2009

mentos gum Tropical

Flavor: The flavor of mentos Tropical gum is just alright. It features oranges, mangoes, and kiwis on the label but the flavor of the gum itself is too sweet to be a combination of those or any other "tropical" flavors - it lacks a tartness or tanginess that is essential to a Tropical blend. On extended chewing, it loses the quasi-tropical sweetness rather quick and we're left with that dreaded "gum base" flavor, with just a hint of artificial sweetener. It's got little to no breath-freshening qualities whatsoever, and if I were trying to mask red wine on my breath, mentos Tropical gum might, in fact, do more harm than good.

Texture: Yikes. It starts out bad, and gets worse. It touts a "soft center" on the label and that certainly detracts from the overall texture. It makes for a mushy chew right off the bat. As with all pellet gums, it has a candy shell, but it's not crispy at all and doesnt dissolve as I expect pellet gum candy shell to dissolve - Instead, it almost becomes a component of the gum. About the time the gum base flavor (or lack thereof) starts to take over, so does a waxy texture that has very little elasticity and falls apart easily.

Overall: mentos makes a fine candy. I don't think I've ever met a mento I've disliked, from mint, to fruit, to cinnamon, to their new sugarless line, which I eat by the box. However, first impressions with the gum extension of the line fall very short, and I can't in good conscience rate this gum highly - the Freshmaker it is not.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stride Spearmint

Flavor: Well, it’s Spearmint, I’ll give it that. But compared to the other varieties that I’ve blogged in the spearmint spectrum, it falls far, far short. It’s a bit weak, for Stride, a brand that usually puts forth a notably robust flavor. Not to mention that the longer you chew, the more it starts to taste like cough syrup. I’m sorry, but to me, green cough syrup, no matter how much it takes like spearmint, always tastes much more predominantly of cough syrup. In a gum? Do not want.

Texture: Eh. It’s rubbery, and tough. It leaves much to be desired right from the start—between the stale taste and the stale texture, it’s almost as though it’s already been chewed. Stride swung with this one, and it missed.

Overall: I have to note a few things. One, this is a by-demand gum review, which means it’s already a fact that this gum is somebody’s favorite (Thanks Amanda!). Two, Stride gives me sores in my mouth, and based on the search results of our Google Analytics, it gives other people sores in their mouths too (Someone typed “stride gum sores on tongue” into Google and came upon our site. I feel your pain, friend.) Third, this gum finds itself pretty late in a long line of Gum Alert spearmint reviews, so it’s up against some serious competition. Taking all those things into consideration, I’m going to have to address you, Amanda, and you, anonymous googler with the sores on your tongue, and ask if you’ve tried 5 Rain. I implore you if you have not, to do so ASAP. I’m going to be merciful and give this gum two gumballs, since it was requested by a fan, and since I want people to keep asking my opinions on things. But Amanda, do get back to me on Rain, and perhaps we can lower the rating… together.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Orbit Positively Pomegranite

Flavor: One of the bad things about being a gum connoseiur is that every once in a while, you find a gum that's just perfect, and then they discontinue it. You then spend countless days, weeks, chews, trying to find a comparison to your old favorite. Such is the case with Katie and I, and Extra Original Bubble. It was the perfect gum, and I can still taste it even though it was discontinued years and years ago. Since they discontinued it, we've been on a quest to find a gum with that similar perfect tangy-sweet flavor, and I've gotta say that Orbit Positively Pomegranite actually comes close. As I've said before in another review, I don't get the "pomegranite" craze, mostly because I don't really remember pomegranite having much of a taste. But that being said, the flavor of this gum is fantastic. It starts out with a sweet-tart one-two punch, and fades into a delicate flavor-indescript blend. My only problem with this gum is that it fades TOO much, TOO quickly. What flavor that's left is just fine, there just isn't enough of it.

Texture: The texture is great, this is how gums should chew. It's the slightest bit sticky on the teeth, but certainly not enough to cause any hinderance of enjoyment.

Overall: This is a great gum. I am a little concerned for its future, as I don't really see it very often and this pack I picked up was in a bin, away from the other gums. A trip to the the Orbit page on Wrigley.com tells me that the flavor is indeed still available, and even still being billed as New!, but I am wary nonetheless. Can you find Orbit Positively Pomegranite in your local stores? Anyway, if you see it, pick it up and give it a chew. The only reason it doesn't get the full 5 gumballs is because of the rapid flavor loss. Nicely done.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Brief Interlude

Dear Readers,

We have been ecstatically overwhelmed lately by the web-wide attention we have gotten in the last couple weeks. We'd like to take this opportunity to say hello and welcome to our new fans, and a big thank you to our friends at Neatorama, Tosh.0 on comedycentral.com, Serious Eats, and boingboing gadgets!

We're excited to announce some exciting new changes to Gum Alert in the next few days, including a fantastic new page design, a special celebrity guest review, contests, and of course more of the gum reviews that you know and love.

To kick-off the expansion and enhancement of Gum Alert, we have joined the Twitter community! Both Katie and I don't really understand it, but we've signed up for a Twitter account and we promise to figure it out soon and "tweet" regularly! We'd love it if you would follow us and help us get started over there.

While you're at, or if you're not a twitterer (tweeter?), Become A Fan of Gum Alert on Facebook!

Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We never thought that our little gum blog would take off this way, and we are touched by the outpouring of support. We're always open to suggestions and criticisms, we would love to hear from you, so go on and shoot us an email at gumalert@gmail.com.

Shannon and Katie

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trident Xtra Care Spearmint

Flavor: Up until now, I’ve felt conflicted in my critiques of the various versions of this classic flavor. Each seemed unfairly delicious, more delicious than the last and yet unique in its own special way. When I chewed my first piece of Trident Xtra Care, I was relieved to discover that it fell so short of its Spearmint competitors that I would have no problem reviewing it. The flavor lacks that special sweet edge typical of other Spearmints, and really just embodies the cold, harsh “other” taste that’s usually softened by the sweetness. And to boot, whatever flavor it does have fades in a matter of seconds.

Texture: Rubbery. Too firm, through and through. It’s as if you’ve already been chewing it for twenty minutes the first time you put it in your mouth. Stale. Fail.

Overall: Once again, as with my review of Trident Xtra Care Cool Mint, I feel as if the only thing this gum has going for it is its “Xtra Care.” When I went to the Web site to read more, as the package indicated, I found that the Spearmint variety wasn’t even listed. When I clicked on the Cool Mint, it provided information about “Recaldent, a unique form of calcium,” that has various positive effects on teeth. I’m no doctor, so I can’t argue with all that scientific jargon. I rate gum, not dental hygiene products. Besides, it can be safely said that all sugar-free gum, particularly Trident, cares a little “extra” for your teeth. I chew gum to strengthen my teeth in the same way that I drink wine for its antioxidants—it’s a nice bonus, but hardly reason for addiction. Super-uber-special-healthy or not, this gum just falls short.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wrigley's 5 Solstice

Flavor: Solstice is marketed as a "warm and cool winter," and as I chew I struggle with that statement, perhaps so much so that it detracts from my enjoyment of the flavor. Along with Zing, Solstice is one of two new flavors introduced to the Wrigley's 5 lineup this spring. Zing was described as a "sour to sweet bubble," and I went in knowing that, and it was a perfect description. The marketing folks at Wrigley's got Zing spot on, but I think they tried a little too hard with Solstice here. I'm just not getting a "warm and cool winter at all." I just get "mint." That being said, it's a great mint. It's different than your usual mints, I would say somewhere in between a peppermint and a wintermint, with a little more sweetness. It's exhilarating and strong (but not too strong), and as with other 5 gums, the flavor lasts.

Texture: Starts off soft and stays soft without falling apart into nothing. This is what texture is all about. I would trust Solstice to stick with me through a long business meeting if I happened to forget to bring the wrapper or a tissue with me for disposal.

Overall: As a whole, Wrigley's 5 line is impressive, and Solstice does not disappoint. I have to point out the packaging on this one, too - it's one of my favorite gum packagings. While I do have my issues with the popular new "pocket pack" style of gum and still lament the loss of my dear Plen-T-Paks, the ribbed cardstock, combined with the smooth, shiny logo and wispy artwork make for a perfect presentation.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wrigley's 5 Rain

Flavor: First of all, let’s get real here, 5. I’m all for catchy marketing campaigns, but if we’re being honest, this flavor is not “Rain.” It’s Spearmint. Plain and simple. It’s green like spearmint, it’s minty like spearmint, and it’s sweet like spearmint. Now that that’s established, I’ve got to say—it’s one heck of a spearmint. It’s a perfect blend of minty and sweet, it captures that traditional flavor (see Trident Spearmint and Orbit Spearmint blogs) and holds on to it for as long as you choose to chew. It’s long-lasting, refreshing, and pays great homage to its many spearmint original predecessors. It’s been a while since I’ve tried the other spearmint varieties, but I have to say, if I’m in the mood for spearmint from now on, I’m reaching for “Rain.”

Texture: I’m going to have to say that for the first time in a long time, I’ve found a gum with a texture that rivals both Trident and Orbit. Although most of the 5 varieties are less-than-impressive with their texture qualities, Rain is, dare I say, perfect. It’s a big, meaty bite, that decreases in size (as it should, and chemically must), but that maintains a really nice, firm, malleable chew that never really hardens or softens beyond prime. It’s a damn good chew.

Overall: I’ve had good luck with gums lately, I have to say. Rain is one of those gums I looked forward to chewing, a real “end your meal with a bang” kind of treat. One lone stick was taunting me in my bag for two days, begging to be chewed even if reviewing was not possible at that time. I almost went out and bought a second pack just for reviewing purposes. Sorry to ruin your summer, folks, but the forecast is calling for Rain every day.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Orbit Maui Melon Mint

Flavor: No. Just, no. Is this supposed to taste like watermelon? Or Mint? Or both? Because it doesn't taste like either. It smells peculiarly like Choward's Violets, and I bet that's what I'm tasting, too. The taste is completely nondescript, vaguely sweet and somewhat bitter. It leaves a gross taste in the back of my mouth that I associate with "aftertaste," but it happens DURING the chew, not after. I don't want aftertaste in mid-chew. Big fail. In fact - once I remove the gum from my mouth, the actual aftertaste is, in fact, more pleasant than the duringtaste itself.

Texture: Like most Orbit, the texture is fine. Starts off soft, and firms up to be the perfect chewable consistency. If this review was based on texture alone, it'd get far more gumballs.

Overall: I cannot recommend Orbit Maui Melon Mint to any sane person. There are far better melony gums on the market, if that's what you're craving for. I'd even suggest resorting to a sugared watermelon-flavored gum - a Hubba Bubba or a BubbleYum - if you absolutely have to. But stay away from this one. Stay far away.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trident Splash Peppermint Swirl

Flavor: A delight. It has everything I like about Trident Minty Sweet Twist, but it’s unique in its own way. It’s very accurately named and packaged—Starlight mints are pictured—and I can say that it’s very pleasantly reminiscent of those after-dinner mints you get at the diner that always leave your teeth sort of cruddy. Shannon asked that I mention the liquid center-- so, it's good, but it's not the focal point of the gum, which is a really good thing. This gum is not gimmicky, it doesn't rely on the fleeting burst of liquid to maintain its flavor, but it provides all the bells and whistles (outer candy shell, molten core) that complement a solid, flavorful piece of gum.

Texture: It’s really pleasant for a pellet gum. A nice crunch at first, and the crunch lasts for a fair amount of time before fading into a substantial consistency. I can’t say I’ve done the long-term test on this gum, but I’ve never thrown it out for lack of flavor or for a rubbery texture. Most pellet gums get way too little way too quickly, but this one maintains size and composition eloquently.

Overall: I have to admit that this gum almost didn’t get reviewed this week. I bought it two days ago, in anticipation of my gumblog, and I almost ate the whole pack before it was even my turn to post. There has been one lone pellet sitting in my purse for more than 24 hours, which means two things: 1. ) there’s not enough gum in a pellet pack (only nine pieces?!), and 2.) it was really good for a pellet gum. I’m usually fairly anti-pellet gum, but this gum has all so many of the things I like about gum that I’m willing to excuse its form. Now that I’ve found a pellet gum that I actually enjoy, I’m going to propose that all gums of this variety should be packaged in barrel form—seen in eclipse and some orbit flavors—that lends it self to quantities in the dozens rather than in disappointing pop-out rows of three or four. I’ll definitely buy this one again if my tried-and-true isn’t available, which says something for a gum that’s about 17 cents a piece.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Orbit Mist Peppermint Spray

Flavor: Phenomenal. Outstanding. Fantastic. Superb. Awesome. The initial burst of Orbit Mist Peppermint Spray is something a gum lover could only dream of, not quite nasal-passage clearing but certainly breath-freshening, and beyond. This gum is being advertised as "the wettest gum in the world," and while that description doesn't sound very appetizing, I have to say it's spot on. It's salivary gland stimulation goes above and beyond, and it does indeed quench a thirst. The flavor, I might add, has lasted as long as I've kept a piece in my mouth, which would probably be in the neighborhood of 45 minutes or so.

Texture: The "micro-bursts" on first chew are exhilarating and refreshing. They have such a pleasant and unique grainy texture to them, and they last for the perfect amount of time, until you don't feel like crunchy gum anymore, and you are left with the perfect texture through the chew.

Overall: In a word- a masterpiece. Orbit Mist Peppermint Spray is absolutely, without a doubt my #2 favorite gum at the moment, surpassing Trident Passionberry Twist by a long shot. In fact, I would not be surprized if this gum eventually took top billing, bumping my Extra Polar Ice to the silver podium. This is only my second pack, so I'm not quite ready to do that yet, but oh, Orbit, you have outdone yourself here. Your Mist line, I have to say, is extraordinary. Even if the fruity counterparts, Mango Surf and Watermelon Splash fall short, Peppermint Spray makes this new line extention more than worth it.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trident Watermelon Twist

Flavor: On the package, three slices of fruit are pictured: honeydew melon, watermelon, and what appears to be cantaloupe. On my palette I taste exactly this many fruit flavors: ZERO. There’s not even an initial burst of *any*thing. When you first bite down, there’s this dull sort-of-watermelony taste that is so weak it is barely even detectable, it’s almost like smelling the piece of gum and chewing it are the same experience. The more you chew, the less flavor you get, if that’s even possible. It’s this barely detectable nutra-sweet nothing that never satisfies anything. Watermelon Twist is like a really bad blind date. An ugly one. With bad breath. That just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Texture: Its starts out bad and gets worse. I can’t even elaborate, it’s really plain and simple. It’s like gnawing on a rubber band.

Overall: I bought this gum a long time ago and vowed never to buy it again because of its intense suckiness, but alas, the gumblog calls, and people like catty ranting diatribes. I’m so disappointed in Trident that I want to just break up with it and upgrade to a gum that meets more of my complicated masticating needs, but my unconditional love of Trident Minty Sweet Twist (swoon...) is worth keeping Trident and me together for now. I won’t even finish this pack, and that says something. So, sorry Watermelon Twist. You’ll just have to chew yourself tonight.

Rating: o (one gumball)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dentyne Arctic Chill

Flavor: In a word: WOW. This gum is, by far, the blastiest blast of flavor I've ever tried to date. The candy shell is like infused with menthol or something, and on first bite it really will clear your sinuses. If you need some freshening, I don't think there's any gum out there better for you than this one. It stays pretty strong for a fair amount of time as well - it fades from explosive to quite pleasant, and as long as you have a piece of this in your mouth, you will never be exposed for your affinity to garlic bread or red wine.

Texture: Again, fantastic. As a rule, pellet gum texture leaves something to be desired, but Dentyne Arctic Chill is alright by me. It's a tiny bit softer than my personal perfect preference, and it has an ever-so-slight squeak, but it's absolutely got the best texture in pellets out there. My only legitimate qualm is that the pieces are small, but that's no biggie and certainly not worth negative points.

Overall: If I didn't prefer stick gum over pellet gum, I find it safe to say that this would be my favorite gum. I just don't like popping pellets out of blisters. One time I had one of those 50-piece cups of this in my car and it was gone within a week. I almost looked forward to my trips to the grocery store just because I knew that I could chew a couple pieces of this gum. And so, Dentyne Arctic Chill, this gumblogger is proud to proclaim you the first pellet gum worthy of the coveted five gumballs.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trident Strawberry Twist

Flavor: Much like its Orbit rival, the new Trident Strawberry Twist is reminiscent of a very distinct flavor from my past—not Big League Chew, but McDonald’s Strawberry milkshakes. At first whiff of the gum inside the packaging I sensed that delightful, creamy, strawberry twang of a McShake, but I tried to convince myself it was in my head. Then came the BURST of flavor, and I confirmed its likeness to that milky pink treat. Every so often I’ll smell it wafting from my bag and crave it, yearning to delight its satisfying flavor. I found myself even thinking about the gum as the week went on, looking forward to the burst of milkshaky goodness as many times in a day as I wanted (with no indigestion or brain freeze). Unfortunately it goes downhill from the burst. Surprisingly, the flavor fades in a matter of a minute at most—an unusual characteristic for Trident gums. The flavor is such a pleasure, however, that I usually chew two or three pieces in one sitting, just to enjoy the burst.

Texture: It’s your average Trident at first, but it loses that reliable Trident texture quickly. It decreases in size and becomes rather hard, and if you chew it for long enough (which I’ve only done once) to get past the initial strange hardening, you’ll find that it’s pretty squeaky, much like many pellet gums, also an unusual trait for a stick of this variety.

Overall: It’s delicious. I don’t drink McDonald’s strawberry shakes anymore for one reason or another, but I can definitely see myself buying this gum again for a little after-meal treat. It’s nothing I want on my breath; it’s not a freshener in the least. Nor is it any kind of “Twist"-- I think they were stretching it with the title, but at least they didn’t claim “Mint” like Orbit. I’ll chew it again, just as sure as I’ll someday buy another McMilkShake, at 3 in the morning, on my way home from the bar.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dentyne Ice Mint Medley

Flavor: The packaging of this gum calls out a "sweet blend of flavors." I don't know if they're referring actual flavor of the mint blend being sweet, or if they're using the word "sweet" in a slang sense like all the kids are doing nowadays. (Get off my lawn.) Either way, I don't get "sweet" from this gum very much at all. Like all pellet gums, it's got a hard candy shell that is jam-packed with flavor. Once that powerful burst subsides, it's just like any old mint gum. I suppose it's a nice "medley," I can sense spearmint along with the requisite peppermint, and if I concentrate hard enough I even think I can taste a little wintermint in there. It's nothing special, but it certainly doesn't suck.

Texture: Standard pellet texture. Starts off crunchy which I always like, and when the shell dissolves it's got a nice, if somewhat firm, texture. One thing about this gums, like most other pellet gums, it's that the pieces are small. I am generally a two-stick chewer, and even two pellets don't cut it for me. If I'm going to chew this gum for any length of time, I'm gonna need at least three pieces, and that's just not economical. Also? It kind of squeaks.

Overall: A decent gum. Nothing special, certainly not horrible, but not a gum I would tout very highly. It's average, at best.
Rating: ooo (Three gumballs)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Orbit Strawberry Mint

Flavor: I’ve purchased this gum before and it drove me crazy the first time—what the hell does this flavor remind me of? Every time I chewed it I couldn’t even really enjoy it because I was so focused on figuring out what the hell it was. Piece by piece, the pack dwindled until at last it was gone, the mystery unsolved, the question unanswered, and all too soon did I forget about it altogether. Upon peeling back the plastic outer shell of Orbit Strawberry Mint (another “mint” fallacy, by the way), I instantly remembered the mysterious reminder—oh, what is that—and didn’t even have to pop a piece in my mouth before I knew the answer. Strawberry Big League Chew. With a sigh of relief and a very genuine smile (a rarity during the work day), I put a piece in my mouth and silently congratulated Orbit on taking on an impossible and commendable task that they may not have even realized they were tackling—a healthy version of my beloved childhood favorite.

Texture: Of course, it’s not the stringy-to-grainy-to-gushy big league chew (which is admittedly a good thing). Texture-wise this gum leaves something to be desired, though, becoming too smooth and mushy for my tastes, but maintaining form nonetheless.

Overall: The flavor fades quickly and the texture too, but all-in-all I need to give this gum an ultimate rating just because of that childish glee that bursts into my mouth upon the first bite. Although I didn’t recognize it at first, it’s overpowering to the senses even sitting idle in the pack, unchewed—it’s that Strawberry Big League Chew, all over again, and it isn’t rotting my teeth in my mouth.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trident Splash Citrus with Blackberry

Flavor: The flavor of Trident Splash Citrus with Blackberry is pleasant. It's a pop-out gum with a candy shell. It's a pretty bland citrus base that has a fantastically tart liquid center. Unfortunately, the citrus flavor fades to a boring generic "sweet," and the tart blackberry liquid is gone almost before you can even begin to enjoy it.

Texture: This gum has a LOT going on at first. It's almost overwhelming - almost. You bite down on the shell and it crunches into a slighty too-soft gum and then... WHAM! You're blasted with the liquid center explosion. It's pretty awesome. Once the liquid dissipates and the candy shell dissolves, the gum you're left with has a surprizingly good texture, for a pop-out pellet gum. It doesn't lose cohesion, but it does get that waxy feel in it after a while. All in all, I was pleasantly surprized by the texture of Trident Splash Citrus with Blackberry.

Overall: I can't see this being anyone's favorite. It's certainly not mine. But all in all, it's a FUN gum for those times when you're sick of cinnamon, bored of bubblegum, or just want something new and different than your usual mundane mint. (Alliteration.) It's reminiscent of many sugary liquid-filled gums and candy of my youth, without the unpleasant dental side-effects. For those few and far-between times when I feel like being a kid for just a few minutes, I can see myself picking up a pack of Trident Splash Citrus with Blackberry and letting myself enjoy the multi-layered experience. I don't think this gum was really MEANT to have a long-lasting, breath-freshening flavor or a steadfast, smooth texture. This gum was meant to KAPOW your mouth, and that it does.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Orbit Citrusmint

Flavor: Well it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized this gum, like its sister Bubblemint, is supposed to be a fruit-mint hybrid. Although I gave Orbit the benefit of the doubt with Bubblemint (much to Shannon’s chagrin), I’m going to have to oppose the claim this time around. So, let me just say, if you’re expecting ANY of the qualities of mint—be it cooling, exhilarating, etc., etc., you won’t find it here. But if you’re interested in that sweet orange satisfaction that comes with an orange Tic-Tac (ok, maybe not QUITE as perfect as an orange Tic-Tac…) then this is the gum for you. It’s a burst of tangy orange at first that fades into a pleasant, subtle orange flavor that lasts as long as you feel like chewing.

Texture: A bit soft for me. It’s definitely solid, but the mushiness gets to be a bit much after a while and I wind up taking it out earlier than I would most gums, all because of the less-than-perfect texture.

Overall: Aaaah, Orange Mint, the good times we’ve had. You were my favorite for a long time, longer than my current favorite, longer perhaps even than Trident Tropical Twist. And yet, looking at the review til now, it seems you’re only a three-gumball or four-gumball gum at best. I chalk this one up to bias and set it as the example to which I hold all gums that I personally feel really suck but that I can appreciate other people’s affection toward (please excuse the rambling grammar, I’m just off vacation.) I must note that the packaging for this flavor endured a makeover a few years back, from a straight-orange pack to a fading white and orange package with a delightful, almost tribal citrus flair. The packaging alone makes it more desirable, I must give Orbit credit there. The verdict overall? It's all right by me, but don't take my word for it.
Rating: three gumballs (ooo)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extra Classic Bubble

Flavor: It's going to be extremely hard to review this gum without comparing it to the greatest gum of all time, Extra Original Bubble (may it rest in peace.) It's your basic bubblegum. It's got a fantastic bubble gum flavor, and if you're a bubblegum person, this is probably in your regular rotation, if not your favorite. On first chew, it's soft and sweet, and it's hard to believe that it is, indeed, sugarfree. I'm reminded of the taste of a pinch of bubblegum Big League Chew. Excellent.

Texture: At first, it's fantastic. It's soft and congeals into a nice wad. But on further mastication, it firms up a little too much. I fear for my fillings a bit with this one for a couple minutes. But fear not, and do not give up the chew - it softens back up into a delightful chewable gum, and allows for small-to-medium sized bubble blowing. Now, despite the taste, this ain't no Big League Chew, and you're not going to be getting Big League sized bubbles out of it, but it does the job.

Overall: A fantastic choice for a bubblegum. Extra gums usually go one way or the other - they either get it really right, or really wrong - and they got this one really right. I can't give it five bubbles for a couple reasons - the interlude of firmness, and out of respect for my beloved Original Bubble. If Extra comes to their senses and brings back Original Bubble, I may someday revisit this review and bump up the stars.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trident Splash Orange Swirl

Flavor: The packaging on this gum can only be described with one word: ridiculous. Its many flaws are transparent in its over-packaging, for example: obviously Trident was unable to secure the flavor name “Creamsicle” due to copyright issues and so there’s a picture of a Creamsicle on the unpleasantly fluorescent orange package beside the name “Orange Swirl.” They might as well have called it “Orange sorbet swirled with vanilla ice cream formed into a brick and easily handled with an appended popsicle stick.” You're not fooling anyone, Trident Splash. The package also touts “NEW! BURST of Sweet INDULGENCE!” What’s with the weird emphatic capitalization? And what’s indulgent about a creamsicle? The burst is in fact a burst, as the gum, with its crunchy candy coating, is filled with potent creamsicle- (excuse me, “Orange Swirl”)-flavored liquid. The flavor stays for a while, longer than most candy-coated gums, but the texture…

Texture: …leaves something to be desired. It almost immediately becomes too soft and easily separated from itself while chewing. Not a pleasant chew after that initial burst of liquid dissipates.

Overall: When bro and sissy presented me with the gum, it came with a disclaimer: this gum sucks. Shannon said it was good at first but quickly faded, and Matt added that the consistency quickly deteriorated and left you with a barely flavored unchewable hunk of nothing (in so many words). I must say they were correct. It’s a delight if you’re craving a creamsicle but don’t want to (oh GOD forbid) INDULGE in an actual ice pop. So, if you’re on a diet this summer, and really want that burst of Orange Swirl goodness, minus the ice cream and the cooling sensation and the all-around nostalgic pleasure it induces, chew this crappy piece of gum, why not.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Trident Spearmint

Flavor: It’s a little unfair how I chose to review these gums. In hindsight, a blind taste test would have been the best option—and perhaps in later classic flavor trials we’ll do so (perhaps a special feature?) Unfortunately for Trident, all of my Orbit Spearmint is long gone since Monday (which says something, to be sure, of the quality of the Orbit gum). So, poor Trident was held up against a very high, invisible standard, which I, admittedly, expected it to meet—nay—exceed. Trident has a sweeter version of Spearmint than Orbit, a burst of delightful Spearmint at the start that satisfies that classic urge. But with time, the flavor fades to “cold,” with just a hint of that spearmint zest, which is, unfortunately, not pleasant to gnaw on for very long at all.

Texture: It seems this gum get smaller the longer you chew, a definite minus in my book. It has a solid consistency, but since it disintegrates in mass so dramatically I’m going to have to give it the thumbs down.

Overall: Trident vs. Orbit: The Spearmint Trials. My intuition said that Trident would trump Orbit, with its long-standing reputation in the gum industry and the mere fact that it was probably one of the first Spearmint varieties out there. When I first started chewing my gut impulse was to confirm this intuition, it was sweeter, more pleasant, stronger than the Orbit variety. I chewed merrily along for about five or ten minutes when I suddenly got the urge to spit out the gum. It didn’t lose flavor so much, and the texture didn’t decompose completely, but I just didn’t feel like chewing it anymore. Something about it faded with time and unfortunately, that falls short of Orbit, and in fact falls short of most other Trident flavors on the whole. I was surprised. Next time I want this old favorite, I’m going with Orbit. Better luck in the cinnamon trials, Trident, because you’ve been TKO’d in this round.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Orbit Raspberry Mint

Flavor: When I first tried this gum when it came out a couple years ago, I remember not liking it very much... in fact, I remember not liking it at all. From my foggy memory, I fully came here expecting to give it one gumball. I don't know if my tastes have changed or if they've changed the formulation, but it's really not that bad. It's certainly not a good taste, in fact I have a hard time even comparing it to actual raspberries. It's got a very cough-syrupy taste, with a really bitter twinge that lingers in the back of the throat. It does have a somewhat cooling effect to it, but like the previously reviewed Bubblemint, it's not a true mint, and I tend to think that's what brings on the bitterness. Mixing a sweet flavor, be it fruit or bubble, just doesn't work.

Texture: Orbit is generally consistent with texture, but Raspberry Mint is a little softer than other Orbits. It's a little too soft for my personal preferences, but certainly not unchewable.

Overall: I wouldn't buy this gum again for myself, and there are so many better fruity flavored gums out there that are far superior than this. Raspberry is a hard flavor to pull off artificially, and this is more proof of that. Back to the drawing board, Orbit.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)