Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry and Happy Everything!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Lucky Lights Bubble Gum

Presentation: I've decided that the presentation of this gum takes precedence over its other properties, as it is presented to children as a fairly realistic looking pack of cigarettes. I seem to remember candy cigarettes changing their appearance to be less realistic, sort of like the orange tip on toy guns. I also was surprised to find bubble gum cigarettes, as I remember Lucky Lights as chalky sugar sticks that dissolved all too quickly in your mouth. Alas, these bubble gum cigarettes taste nothing like the familiar candy sticks of days gone by. But boy, are they more realistic looking. I wouldn't be pleased if my niece walked in the room with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, brown filter and all (that is, of course, when she's out of diapers). "Oh no, Aunt Katie, it's only bubblegum!" Then we'd have to have a big stupid talk about why smoking is bad and chewing gum is good and never the twain shall meet. I digress.

Flavor: This gum is gross. It doesn't even taste like bubblegum. It's too sweet, and what little flavor it has fades almost immediately. I'd venture to say it tastes more like a cigarette than a piece of bubblegum.

Texture: Even worse. It hardened up before it even crumbled. The emphasis here was obviously on the presentation, and the makers of this gum felt that flavor and texture needn't be addressed when marketing such a self-selling, sure-thing gum like this. I mean come on, kids, smoking is cool, right?

Overall: Wrong. Boo hiss, Lucky Lights. Now I'm sure this isn't going to get kids to run out to the store and try to buy a pack of real cigs, and I'm sure it's really fun for a kid to pretend to smoke a pack (hey, I ate plenty of candy smokes in my day), but I don't think kids think smoking is all that cool anymore. It stinks, both literally and figuratively. I think the fact that I could only find this gum in a candy shop in Time Square (and a stale pack at that) is a testament to the fact that kids aren't really eating these things up anymore, and that's a good thing. Now if you ask me, I think this gum does have a chance, if only a slim one, at remaining on the market in time for my niece to actually show an interest in gum (oh, they grow up so fast...). And that's if Nicorette steps up to the plate, throws some actual Nicotine in these things, and markets them to adults who actually would care for a smoke, but know they probably shouldn't anymore.

Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bubblicious Grape

Flavor: Katie and I have been known to have quite lengthy discussions on our opinions of artificial vs. natural flavors. My opinions on grape are clear: Artificial grape is the bomb, yo, and it doesn't get any better than grape sugared bubblegum. While I think Bubblicious could have upped the tartness a bit, it's a worthy grape, indeed. Fades quickly, but that's to be expected in this genre.

Texture: The meaty purple cube is just perfect, never too hard or too soft, and the bubbles are phenomenal. I couldn't ask for more.

Presentation: You know, with all the changes in the Gum Packaging world, from the near extinction of the 25-cent packs, to the Plen-T-Pack/Slim Pack evolution, you gotta kind of appreciate the consistency in sugared bubblegums like Bubblicious and Hubba Bubba. The presentation is exactly the same as when I was a kid: a 5-piece pack with the little pull-tab. It's a familar comfort. The graphics are simple yet eye-catching, featuring bright colors and the trendy "swirls" that the iPod generation seems to be so fond of.

Overall: Some gums are just hard to review, and this is one of them. It's just such a timeless classic. When you pick up a pack of Bubblicious Grape, you know what you're getting. You're not "trying it," there are no surprizes or mysteries... it's just a good gum.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Big Red

Flavor: “No little gum freshens breath longer than Big Red.” I just spent the better part of an hour watching old Big Red commercials on You Tube, and although I enjoyed every second of it, I have to admit that I never did understand the marketing plan for Big Red. Cinnamon gum isn’t refreshing, it’s sort of the opposite of that. Like the candy red hots, this gum produces a heat in your mouth (that does, admittedly, "go on and on while you chew it.") But I’m not sure I’d be so inclined to lock lips with somebody who’d been chewing it with the kind of passion portrayed in these commercials. In fact, when someone’s chewing Big Red, you can smell it across the room, and your general reaction isn’t, “My, what fresh breath that stallion has! I want to kiss him for a long, long time,” but rather, “Oh god, that guy’s chewing Big Red, I can smell it all the way over here.” But I don't care; those commercials are timeless and I don’t fault them for filming dozens of cheesy scenarios based on that simple jingle.

Texture: Based on the commercials, you’ll be too busy frenching somebody to ever actually chew a piece of Big Red. It’s a good piece of gum, texture-wise, a lot to chew and doesn’t toughen up. It produces an unpleasant foamy saliva in my mouth, but I think that might be the sugar combined with the heat, to which I’m a little sensitive.

Presentation: This new fangled “slim pack,” to me, is just as disoncerting as the new take on the Big Red commercial (more on that later). These packs used to be five for a quarter. Sure, now the packs are big and flashy and fit in your back pocket, but they used to fit in your front pocket. If you ask me, if it aint broke, don’t fix it.


Overall: I wasn’t kidding when I said I really enjoyed watching all the Big Red videos. I counted: at least five guys so caught up in kissing that they missed a car ride as it pulled away (and another two that missed a boat-- not to mention two who actually missed their queue in a parade), a pair of kids necking in a photobooth, another couple through a window while her parents were asleep, a pair posing for a sculptor, some campers, a racecar driver, a politician, a couple in a medieval theatre troop, a football player (who misses his bus), and a bride and groom, just to name a few. Let’s face it-- Big Red makes everybody all hot and bothered! The commercials are simultaneously wholesome and scandalous. I was going to hyperlink every commercial that I just referenced, but the whole dang paragraph would be blue.

It just attests to the fact that Big Red has sold gum for decades using the same old nostalgic, formulaic commercial again and again. Why did they trade it in for a singer juggling a pack of CGI gum? In fact, the initial concept was such a successful commercial, that the behemoth Verizon changed the lyrics and made their own version. Even if it was a spoof, Verizon recognized the power of the Big Red spot and capitalized on it. That's thinking like a major corporation.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make out endlessly with my boyfriend in a phone booth in the rain, or something equally surprising and ironic. 



Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Think Gum

This review is sponsored by our friends at Think Gum!

Flavor: You can definitely tell that this is an herbal-infused gum. While not as offensive to the sense as Eclipse Breeze's cardamom flavor, the herbs in this gum at the forefront. It's not completely foul, but I wouldn't call it a delicious chew. Certainly not something I'd reach for to freshen the breath, but I don't think you're supposed to.

Texture: It's a pellet gum, but doesn't really have any candy shell crunch to speak of. The chew itself is firm enough, not too annoyingly soft.

Presentation: Nothing too special here. A cute little light buld graphic and brand logo on a stark white background. Standard punch-through-the-foul pellet gum presentation.

Overall: Since this is supposed to be a "Brain-Boosting" gum, I decided to do a little experiment. The back of the pack states, "Think Gum contains Gingko Biloba, Bacopa, Guarana, Vinpocetine, Rosemary & Peppermint. Together these brain-boosting herbal ingredients are proven to enhance concentration & improve memory." It goes on, "For best results, chew while learning or studying & again to recall information." My personal annoyance at the overuse of ampersands aside (personal pet peeve, sorry Think), I thought that it would be interesting to use the product as directed. I wrote down the 6 above brain-boosting ingredients, and studied them for a few minutes while chewing the gum. I spit out the gum and threw out the paper, and went about my morning. Three hours later, I popped 2 more pieces of the gum and attempted to recall the ingredients. Out of the 6, I recalled 4 correctly, misspelled 1 (Bacoba, as opposed Bacopa.) and I missed 1 entirely (Vinpocetine.) So, I dunno. Maybe I should have studied longer or perhaps chewed for a longer period before studying/recalling, but I expected a better results. I guess it's a cute novelty product, and if I were still in college, I'd be all over this. Worth a try when cramming for finals!

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bubbaloo Strawberry

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: Shannon gave me a bag of different kind of gums to sample, and I accidentally left it in my purse and brought it to work with me. The strawberry scent that permeated through the plastic bag was so strong that I was actually embarrassed someone would say something about it while chatting in my office. If it were a perfume, it would come with a doll sold in the pink aisle of the toy store. As a gum, the flavor is your standard sugary strawberry. Overall, the flavor works, but the smell does not-- as I chew it right now, my boyfriend said, unprovoked from across the room, "That stuff smells disgusting." The flavor fades pretty quickly, too.

Texture: As opposed to Shannon's review of Bubbaloo Bubble Gum, the goo in this gum is quite pleasant. After about five minutes of chewing, however, the piece is disappointingly small, lending itself to tiny, unsatisfying bubbles.

Presentation: This is another gum that seems to only be available in those big candy jugs for ten cents a piece in fun stores like Five Below. Since this gum is just ok, I think that throwing it in with a handful of other juice-filled flavors would definitely be the way to enjoy it, and so it works, for what it is.

Overall: I wouldn't recommend this flavor to adults, unless you're looking to really annoy a whole bunch of people in a staff meeting. As far as kids go, go on and throw a couple pieces in with your basket of goodies the next time you find yourself in a cool candy store.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Razzles

Flavor: Oh, Razzles. "First it's Candy... Then it's Gum!" Razzles are one of those gums, like Juicy Fruit, that is going to be very hard to categorize. They're just Razzles, you know? Did you know that the red is supposed to be Rasbperry, not Cherry? I didn't... and now that I know? I still kinda don't. I don't think that the target audience of Razzles really pays attention to the flavor, though. In the interest of science, I'll describe it thusly: Razzles are vaguely fruit-flavored, and incredibly sweet. Flavor fades in a record-breaking quickness.

Texture: The texture is what Razzles is all about. They're an anomaly of the gum and candy universe, and I still don't know how they do it. If you've never eaten a Razzle before, you're really missing out. On first bite, they crumble in the mouth not unlike an antacid tablet, and just before your throat gets ready to instinctively swallow the chalkiness, it begins to congeal, and you're left with a wad of gum. It's pretty amazing if you've never experienced it before, and fantastically nostalgic if it's been a while since you've had them. Also? It's disgusting.

Presentation: A few months ago, I bought a packet of these in the drug store to review, but I ate them all before I got the chance to. Luckily a very special Gum Alert reader sent us a pack she found in her local store, packaged for what looks like Halloween. In both cases, a blue "sunburst" is the backdrop for a large, playful Razzles logo, and some computer-generated renditions of Razzles pieces. It's simple, yet eye-catching. No eleven year-old could possibly resist it.

Overall: Razzles is one of those gums that's so special, so near and dear, that it's impossible to not give it five gumballs; It would just be wrong. So, despite the horridness of texture, the sickeningly sugar-sweetness, Razzles earns a place in our coveted five-gumball elite. (And special thanks to Aunt Ann for making this review possible.)
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Extra Sour Cry Baby Bubble Gum

Flavor: A colleague brought me a handful of individually wrapped gumballs from his stash at home to review (thanks, Matt!), and I was surprised to discover that there's an audience out there for this gum other than ten year old kids competing with these and Warheads on the playground. When I commented on this peculiarity, he said matter-of-factly, "When I do something, I go all the way." And boy, does he ever. I chose the red as the first to review, and the first ten seconds of chewing were super intense, mildly cherry flavored, but mostly super sour sugary yowee zowee, oh man, holy cow-- and then it was over, just like that, the electric sensation vanishing away, becoming your ordinary blob of Dubble Bubble. Next up was the orange. Much more sour, but also much more delicious, tasting a lot more like an actual orange than the red tasted like cherry. Upon chewing the yellow gumball, I began to sweat. Much like the cherry, the yellow gumball lacks an individual flavor, but is just as shocking. In the interest of my health, I'm going to try the other two flavors at a later date and report back in a comment. I think I just felt a cavity form. Maybe two.

Texture: Oh, it's awful, so awfully, awfully, terribly good. All the flavor is in the powder, and you can feel its chalky goodness between your teeth for the first ten seconds. Then, much like the flavor, the texture calms into the texture of, you guessed it, Dubble Bubble. Upon my third gumball, though, the chalky goodness became a beast unto itself-- soon my teeth started squeaking while I was chewing, and I'm not talking your average rubber-gum squeak, it was a weird fingernails-on-chalkboard kind of squeak. Once the gum was out of my mouth for good, it felt like my teeth were completely stripped of enamel and the inside of my cheeks had a layer of tissue shorn from them. Ah, childhood.

Presentation: It's your standard jug-o-sugar packaging, clear plastic outside and neon goodness on the inside. I was unaware until now that Dubble Bubble is actually printed on the label of this gum, which explains the similarities in the base. What I think I like most about the packaging, though, is that this is Extra Sour Cry Baby Bubble Gum. As if someone chewed the original and said something like, "I said I wanted to go all the way. Take it up a notch."

Overall: If you're looking to just, you know, chew some gum after a meal, or freshen your breath, or satisfy that sweet tooth, read on and find some other gum in our blog to sample. But if you're looking to take it to the next level, pop five of these suckers in your mouth without taking a drink of water. I dare you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go brush the remainder of my teeth. Twice.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bubbaloo Bubble Gum

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: Oh, Bubbaloo. How I love you so. Bubbaloo doesn't mess around when it comes to flavor. This gum is labeled "Bubble Gum," and it most certainly is a great classic bubble gum flavor. I think the goo burst is a little unnecessary here, it's a little too mediciney for my personal taste, but it fades away fast enough and you're left with just the perfect bubblegummy goodness.

Texture: Bubbaloo, will you marry me? (Sorry, husband.) It's smooth in the mouth, easy to spread on the tongue, and the bubbles are phenomenal. While I certainly don't want to experiment with blowing giant bubbles and popping them all over my glasses, it's not as sticky as a lot of sugar-based bubblegums... it comes off the lips and chin pretty easily.

Presentation: It's packaged the exact same way as its sister, Bubbaloo Sour Cherry, so the same applies here.

Overall: If I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one Bubble Gum flavored gum, it probably wouldn't be Bubbaloo because it would give me cavities and there'd be no dentist there to fill them. But since I'm not on a desert island, I would probably choose Bubbaloo if I had a hankering for Bubble Gum, because I don't really want it that often and dental care is widely available.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hubba Bubba Max Strawberry Watermelon

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: Unlike many of its sister gums (Hubba Bubba Sweet n' Sassy Cherry, for instance), this gum does not pack a sour punch, not even a little. It's as sweet as a sugar cube, with a hint of watermelon. The first bite was really pleasant, your standard fake-watermelon flavor that doesn't at all come close to real watermelon (but then, if it did, kids probably wouldn't beg their parents for dollar bills to buy it with their friends at 7-11). The strawberry and watermelon are both present, and the flavor is simple and fairly classic in terms of Hubba Bubba-esque gums.

Texture: The chunks are huge! It's like stuffing a big old hunk of taffy in your mouth on the boardwalk, a true delight. The chew is hearty and consistent for at least ten minutes, which says a lot for a sugar-based gum. The bubbles are, as with all Hubba Bubba, really impressive.

Presentation: I was curious what qualities made this particular Hubba Bubba "max," and discovered on the Wrigley website this explanation: "...Hubba Bubba Max gum - a unique and captivating product with extraordinarily long lasting flavor and the combinations of two colors and two flavors in one chunk." I don't know that the flavor of this gum is "extraordinarily long lasting," although it does last longer than I remember the original Hubba Bubba lasting when I was a kid. The hunks themselves seem to me to be much larger, and since things usually seem smaller the older you get, I'm assuming that the size of the pieces must have actually increased in size over time.

Overall: I wouldn't pick this one over, say, Bubblicious Cotton Candy or the aforementioned Hubba Bubba Sweet n' Sassy Cherry. When compared to some of the other gums that punch you in the face with flavor, this one really doesn't stand on its own. But it is what it is, and I'm sure it's plenty of kids' favorite.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bubbaloo Peppermint

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor:
It's a nice peppermint flavor, not too strong and not too weak. It's definitely a breath freshener. It's got an initial burst of goo inside that doesn't blow you away, but is nice "for a change."

Texture: This is a weird one. I don't really understand the deal with peppermint-flavored bubblegums. While the gum itself is a fine texture, and blows fantastic bubbles like its sister gum, Bubbaloo Sour Cherry, I don't think that peppermint is a very logical bubble-blowing choice. It kinda hurts! Like, you blow a bubble, and when it gets big, either A.) it pops, or B.) you have to suck it back in. With A, you get a minty blast into your eyes that stings. And with B, the minty air inside the bubble unpleasantly fills your sinuses and esophagus. Minty gums should be reserved for the breath-freshening varieties, I think.

Presentation: See my review of Bubbaloo Sour Cherry, it's the same thing with this one.

Overall: This is a difficult one to rate overall. Like, I want to rate it highly because it has a fantastic texture and taste, but the design is just all wrong. I guess I'll have to err on the positive side, because really, the target market for this gum is kids, and I guess kids like a borderline painful experience. Makes it more EXXXTREEEEEEME or something.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Monday, October 25, 2010

(Kosher Parve) Bazooka

Flavor: I don't speak Hebrew, but based on the comic strip that's wrapped around this piece of gum and that says in big English bubble letters "Bazooka Joe," I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is Bazooka bubble gum. It tastes like it, anyhow-- simple, classic. It's sugar and gum base, sweet and bubblegummy. We had a request a while back from readers who were looking for kosher gum. This one was in the kosher section of our local supermarket, and it's as good as gum gets-- it's Bazooka, for crying out loud.

Texture: Come on, close your eyes and remember-- it's hard at first, then soft and grainy like a gob composed of lots of very fine sugar, and then it's hard as a rock and basically flavorless after about five minutes chewing. Also, it sort of sticks to caps (an observation I admittedly didn't have as a child, with all my baby teeth intact). Aaah, five cent childhood, how sweet you are.

Presentation: It looks just like you remember it, too. Red, blue and white paper folded along with an (presumably amusing) comic strip starring good ol' Bazooka Joe, around a brick-hard pink block of gum. The comics were never really funny, I don't recall ever quite laughing out loud. But who knows... maybe this one is side-splitting. I'll tell you what-- if anyone can translate this comic strip, I'll send you a whole bunch of kosher gum as a thank you.

Overall: I don't think I'd ever pick up a piece of Bazooka just for kicks anymore. But it sure was nice to pick up this kosher parve piece and make sure that it was indeed true to the classic original we all know and love.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs) What did you expect? It's Bazooka.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bubbaloo Sour Cherry

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: Oh, MAN is this gum good. Like, for serious, guys. It's got a liquid center that offers just the perfect amount of soury goodness before fading into this amazing artificial cherry flavor. Being a sugar-based bubblegum, the flavor doesn't last very long, but that's to be expected. This is a gum for kids, and they generally don't have an attention span worthy of a gum that lasts an Extra, Extra, Extra long time. Yes, this is a worthy bubblegum, one that every kid should have in their backpack at all times.

Texture: MAN! This gum is GOOD! It starts out with the delightful aforementioned liquid center explosion and it just goes from good to great. I'd put this in my top 5, nay, my top 3 all-time bubble blowing gums. This gum blows a mean bubble (take note if you're still looking for a gum to use to enter our Bubble Blowing Contest) and it's not overly sticky like some other bubblegums out there. Though I admit I haven't been courageous enough to blow a bubble big enough that it coats my classes upon bursting, I certainly don't have any issues getting it off of my face or lips at all. (ETA: I just burst a bubble all over my glasses, and while it left a smudge, it came RIGHT off with no sticky residue!) The texture is soft, but not mushy. Firm, but not hard. It's "slick" and "shiny" or "smooth" in the mouth, the type of texture I yearn for when I chew gum.

Presentation: Our friend at BestCandyStore.com sent us four flavors of Bubbaloo in a boxes that opens to be displays. A quick google image search leads me to believe that this is the only way Bubbaloo is packaged. It's a shame, because this gum surely deserves a spot next to the Hubba Bubbas and Bubbliciouses of the world. I've never, to my knowledge, even seen it on a counter in a store - I would think that merchants would hesitate to put out this type of display in this day and age, with theft and all. However, a box of 60 of them is only $3.89 over at BestCandyStore.com, and it would totally be worth it if you can't find them anywhere else.

Overall: MAN, THIS GUM IS GOOD!!!!

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Cool Lemon

Flavor: This gum was recommended to us by our friend Sydney upon reading our review of Ice Cubes Peppermint. The initial punch is really successful-- I found it hard to believe that it was sugar free. A few summers ago I ordered fresh lemonade on the boardwalk and was shocked upon first sip to find a gritty mouthful of sweetness with very little detectable lemon flavor. The attendant had thought he was doing me a favor by slipping me a few extra spoonfuls of sugar, when in fact I actually would have preferred the tart of fresh squeezed lemonade. That's what the first bite of Ice Cubes Cool Lemon is like-- a great big burst of lemon-flavored sugar. It fades quickly, but the lingering flavor maintains the pleasant, if a bit too-sweet, lemonade freshness. I would expect a gum called Cool Lemon to be more sour than sweet. If it were called lemonade, however, I might go into it expecting a much sweeter blast of flavor.

Texture: Much like in the first strawful of lemonade that day on the Jersey Shore, I can't get past the grittiness of this gum. The crunchies are never crunchy, rather they're distracting and stick to your teeth and make for a very unpleasant first minute or two before dissolving into a piece that's just too small for lasting satisfaction.

Presentation: I feel like the marketing on this gum was half baked. The package is a faded yellow, so faded that it's even difficult to decipher the graphics on the front. The ice cube in the graphic does appear to be a giant sugar cube, which is quite accurate, but I'm not sure that's intentional. "Cool Lemon" says little to nothing here, and I don't know what cravings I'm supposed to conjure up looking at slices of lemon and giant urine-colored blocks. I'm being harsh, I know. I just think that "Summer Lemonade" would sell more packages of this particular flavor of gum.

Overall: I may have cringed at the first sip of lemonade that day, but boy did I drink it down. It's doubtful, however, that I'll finish this pack of gum. Sydney sure liked it, though... so perhaps it's a matter of preference. I say, if what I've described sounds good to you, go for it. If not, just buy some lemons and put some in your tea like you do every night, like I do.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bubblicious Cotton Candy

This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: True. The label says cotton candy, and this gum tastes like cotton candy. Exactly. Like. Cotton candy. Although, if you think about it, that's really not that great of an achievement for a sugar-based gum. All cotton candy is, is sugar and flavor, and the ingredients of this gum are ridiculously simple, consisting of little more than sugar, corn syrup, gum base and flavor.

Texture: Eh. It actually starts off somewhat firmer than other bubblegums and never really gets that "smooth" or "shiny" feel to it. The bubbles are unimpressive, very thin and quick to burst. If you're looking for a bubblegum to use to enter our Bubble-Blowing Contest, this isn't it.

Presentation: You know, in terms of kid-focused product packaging, this is really minimalist. The pink and the blue works for the flavor, and it has the now-familiar trendy swirl thing going on, but if I were a kid I'd absolutely be drawn to Hubba Bubba over Bubblicious.

Overall: I've been chewing a lot of bubblegum lately thanks to the awesome package that BestCandyStore.com sent over, and I gotta say that this one is one of my least favorites. It's cool that the flavor is so spot-on, but it lacks in nearly every other feature. Worth a try, but there are better bubblegums (as you'll see...).

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bubblicious Sour Citrus

Flavor: It seems that I've been giving all sugary gums rave reviews, but I wonder if the quality of flavor has to do mostly with the intake of sugar that I deprive myself of whilst chewing sugar-free, health-conscious gums like Trident. Regardless, Bubblicious will leave a gross film on your teeth for hours, and the flavor fades within minutes, but that initial burst of fruity goodness is (almost) totally worth the cavity-causing, plaque-creating sugar. This gum, however, tastes more like mango to me than citrus. Although they're often lumped together, mango isn't actually a citrus fruit. Based on the name, I would expect this gum to taste more like orange-tangerine-lemon-lime. It's not even sour, but mostly sweet. "Sour mango" might be more accurate, since it is a little more sour than an actual mango.

Texture: It's Bubblicious. Big and meaty at first, then stale and tough, but producing fantastic bubbles that will definitely stick to your glasses when it pops (you've been warned... I learned the hard way).

Presentation: The familliar pink "B" is front and center on this package, and it's surrounded by really cool multi-color swirlies that suggest lime and lemon. I just don't taste it. Maybe, like the taster of fine wines, you need a delicate palate to detect the subtle lemon overtones here. Or... maybe not.

Overall: I can't really give this gum a great rating, because I just don't feel it accomplished what it set out to do. It tastes good, but it just doesn't hit the mark.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Psst... enter our bubble blowing contest.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wrigley's 5 Lush

Don't forget to "Like" us on Facebook and enter our Bubble Blowing Contest!

Flavor: An immediate burst of delightful tart tropical begins the 5 Lush chew. This is definitely the most "bold" of the tropical gums that I've experienced, at least at the onset of chewing. That being said, the intensity does fade quickly, but we're left with a nice mellow island vibe for the duration of the chew.

Texture: This is where Lush loses me just a bit. It's a totally bipolar gum, in terms of texture. Unlike every other 5 flavor, we begin the chew with a gritty, grainy texture. Normally I like "crunchies" in my gum, but I really didn't expect it from 5. Once the graininess dissolves, there's a brief, 2-3 minute period of unpleasant too-firmness. As it softens, it skips right past "great" into a too-sticky, too soft glob before eventually evening out and becoming nicely chewable.

Presentation:What's there to say about 5 packaging that hasn't already been said? Nice, recognizable branding that's pleasing to the eye and appeals to the "iPod Generation."

Overall: After my awesome Elixir experience, I was hoping for a similar revelation with Lush. Unfortunately, that was not to be. It's a nice flavor, but the texture inconsistencies really distract from being able to fully enjoy the chew. I'd probably go with Trident Tropical Twist if I were in the mood for a tangy tropical flavor.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gum Alert Contest Alert!!

Gum Alert Contest Alert!!! We're celebrating the sugary goodness of BUBBLE GUM by running our second contest! To enter to win a Bubble Gum Prize Pack supplied in part by our awesome friends at BestCandyStore.com, post a picture of yourself blowing your best bubble on our Facebook Wall ! The Gum Girls will pick a winner based on bubble size, creativity and originality. Enter as many times as you want, post your submissions by October 31st!

What are you waiting for? Like us on Facebook and get to poppin'!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bazooka Bubble Juice Bubblegum Nuggets Slammin' Blue Raspberry

Flavor: Bazooka lovers out there, do not be fooled-- Bubble Juice is not for you! Ladies and gentlemen, the creators of the tame, sugary block of bubblegum wrapped in punny comic strips present to the facebook generation a fresh new burst of blue raspberry zing to match the other crazy gums out there on the market today. Has Bazooka Joe sold out? Or has he just adapted to the sour, sweet and neat innovations that many gums offer today? This gum will, like Hubba Bubba or Bubblicious, knock your socks off upon first mouthful, an overwhelming surge of sour blue raspberry goodness that fades almost as quickly as the texture hardens to a barely malleable hunk of rubber. But come on, who said gum was about a lasting chew? Kids aren't buying Bubble Juice because they're looking to keep their breath fresh throughout the duration of a date or a business meeting. They're buying it because it's fun-- and this flavor is as fun as the packaging. Plus, I fear it might induce seizures or something if the flavor lasted for much longer than it does.

Texture: This gum, although marketed as "juice," is a bunch of blue pebbles that resemble the rocks at the bottom of a fish tank. Much like its predecessor Big League Chew, it's fun for kids to chew-- we had contests when we were kids for who could stuff the most "chew" into their cheeks without gagging. I can imagine a really cool kid someplace who brags about being able to pour a whole bag of Bazooka Bubble Juice into his mouth. The gum hardens up almost immediately, as I've said, but who cares. Oh, and P.S.-- it blows a pretty slammin' bubble.

Presentation: So, I'm a little confused about the gimmick here, but for some reason I'm not too bothered by the inconsistency. It's supposed to be bubble juice-- it comes in a little Capri Sun-like pouch and there are pink droplets bursting out of the logo. But inside the pouch, there are... rocks. I feel like I've seen plenty of goo-like gums, tubes of gum, bottles of gum liquid that solidify upon chewing, that I'm not sure why the rocks are necessary here. They could be totally re-marketed and sold in pales, "Rockin' Gum Rocks!" or "Poppin' Pebbles!" It's got a lot of potential, and I think the "juice" was sort of a cop-out. I'd be kind of disappointed if I were a kid and opened it up to find a bunch of fish tank rocks. But then... you can pour them into your mouth like juice. I suppose I'll let it pass.

Overall: Conscientious parents be warned, although I guess it's pretty obvious-- Bubble Juice will most definitely rot the teeth out of your child's mouth. But... look at my tongue! As far as I can remember, anything that turned your tongue this color was definitely a must-have for kids under twelve (and oftentimes, over twelve). If you'll excuse me, I need to spit out this disgusting gob of rubber and drink some more JUICE!

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wrigley's 5 Elixir

Flavor: I tried this gum a long time ago, when it first came out, and I remember texting Katie, "Gum Alert. 5 Elixir. Do not try - it tastes like just that... Elixir." On first bite, it has a definite cough syrup bitterness to it, although nowhere NEAR the atrocity that is Exclipse Breeze Exotic Berry. The syrupness only lasts for a few seconds, however, and it settles into a nice "mouthwatering berry," accurately described on the product's outer wrapper. It absolutely stimulates the salivary glands. In a way, it's somewhat reminiscent of our beloved Extra Original Bubble, although the initial punch fades really fast into a sweeter berry flavor (not necessarily a bad thing.)

Texture: Fantastic. When you first bite into it, you think it might be a little too tough, but WOW. This is a great texture in a gum. It's really "smooth" in the mouth, almost "shiny" on the tongue. Not too firm and not too soft, it's easy to spread between the teeth for cracking, and it even produces a noteworthy bubble.

Presentation: As I mentioned in my review of Prism, I'm a big fan of 5 packaging. (The only negative would be that they started the whole "flat pack" trend, causing the extinction of my beloved Plen-T-Paks.) I'm admittedly biased, since pink is one of my favorite colors, but I really like the shade of pink used in Elixir's packaging.

Overall: A very, very pleasant surprize. To be honest, I'd been putting off this review because I remember being really nastified by this gum the first time I tried it. A couple weeks ago, Alexander requested that we review this and Lush on our Facebook page, so I sucked it up and picked them up. I don't know if they changed the formulation or something, but I can see this gum being added to my regular rotation of go-to gums. Hopefully Lush will provide the same pleasant surprize.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chiclets Peppermint Gum

Flavor: It's difficult to call our assessments of classic gums "reviews," because it's really hard to give something that's lasted the test of time in an increasingly competetive field less than a stellar rating. This gum might not taste as peppermint-y as Orbit, Stride, Extra, or any number of new, improved brands of gums. It might leave that undersirable sugary aftertaste in your mouth even as you're chewing. It definitely won't freshen your breath. But it's like comparing Godzilla with Iron Man-- one might look better on your plasma screen, but there's just no real way to compare a classic with a Blockbuster hit. Chiclets are crunchy and sugary and gummy, they're not good or bad they're just-- Chiclets.

Texture: To be fair, the actual serving size for Chiclets is two pieces, and it is a substantial wad when chewing two pieces (whereas just one Chiclet dissolves to almost nothing within minutes of chewing). The firmness is consistent throughout a lengthy chew, but it does create a slight foaming of saliva after a while. But again, the ingredients are basic, and the texture is fairly impressive given the circumstances.

Presentation: It's a classic Adams package, simple, recognizable. You know what to look for when you're looking for Chiclets.

Overall: Apparently, Chiclets aren't widely available in the U.S. anymore, but they're pretty popular in the Middle East. Luckily, we received some samples from our friend at BestCandyStore.com. As with all tried and true gums that have lasted, unchanged, in the marketplace against gimmicks and chemical advancements and flashy packaging, Chiclets have made a mark and don't have to prove anything to us anymore. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you want a super hydrating, minty, flashy pack of gum to match your outfit, there are plenty of gums for you. But if you want a sugary crunch in that old familiar box, pick up a pack of Chiclets.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stride Always Mandarin


Flavor: A shockingly accurate "mandarin orange" flavor. Normally when we have such a specific citrus call-out in the flavor name (like tangerine), all we get is a vague "orange" flavor, but this gum actually does taste like mandarin oranges, the kind cute tiny ones you eat out of a can. Good job, Stride.

Texture: A little bit too tough for my tastes. This is a super firm chew.

Presentation: Stride doesn't mess around with fruit imagery, "fashion packs," or anything like that. Stride's packaging is friendly and predictable.

Overall: A friend of Gum Alert requested this gum a long, long time ago with the warning that it was really hard to find. Since then, I've been on the lookout for it, so it was like hitting the jackpot when I found a display with 3 packs left. I have to say that, despite the tough texture (which may, in part, have to do with the fact that I've had this gum opened in my purse for about 3 weeks [and we know from experience that, once opened, Stride tends to turn for the worst really fast]) this is a really great gum. Nicely done, Stride.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orbit Tropical Remix

First, I'd like to apologize for the dearth of posts lately at GumAlert. We know it's no excuse, but we both have been at sort of a cross-roads lately career-wise and it's reflected upon this blog. We know you depend on GumAlert for your weekly dose of gummy verbosity, and these last couple weeks, we've let you down. The good news is that we're both on track again, and both of our gum queues are epic, so there's lots to come!

Flavor: First chew is phenomenal, however, it's nothing new - this exact flavor profile has been duplicated time and again by every manufacturer. There's nothing new about this remix - it's a tropical drink in stick form. This one's heavy on the mandarin flavor. I think that to call a gum "remix," something needs to be changed up here. It's just more of the same. The initial punch lasts pleasantly long, but when it fades, it gets kid of bitter, like an orange peel.

Texture: No huge complaints on texture. There's a period about 4 - 6 minutes into the chew that you think you might have a dissolver on your hands, but it re-adheres to itself and the crisis is averted. It's a nice gum for snapping.

Presentation: Alright, this has to be addressed, and I suppose now is as good a time as any. Orbit's all over the TV lately touting their new "fashion packs," and I, for one, say "WTF, Orbit?" I mean, sure. They look ok, I guess? But what's the point? Orbit always had eye-pleasing packaging to begin with, and they spent what I can only guess to be millions of dollars on redesigning every package in their line. What of the reason we're buying it in the first place - the GUM itself? Orbit's at the top of the pack when it comes to quality of the brand as a whole, but there's so much more that can be done. Can you imagine the new and interesting flavors they could come up with if they invested some of the wasted packaging marketing dollars on food scientists? Or if they fiddled around with the texture of Citrusmint? We could be missing out on a potentially perfect gum, all because Orbit is wasting their efforts on silly "fashion packs." And my biggest complaint about them? There's no indication on the outside of the pack what the flavor is, and that's a serious issue for someone like Katie or I who has upwards of 15 packs of gum in our purse at any given time. It's a pain in the rear to have to open the pack to see what the flavor is. Fail, Orbit.

Overall: Packaging issues aside, this is a great gum, and definitely worth a try. It would have gotten 5 gumballs if the whole tropical thing wasn't so overplayed and imitated; gums this good are a dime a dozen, really.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Freshen-up Bubblegum

Flavor: Freshen-up Bubblegum is, to me, a classic, and the bubblegum flavor here stands true to the historic flavor we all know and love. The gel inside the gum isn't overly sweet, and adds a gooey burst of flavor upon the first bite. Although my pack was rather stale, I remember back in the day the goo being plentiful and lending itself to the hydrating sensation now found in gums like Orbit Mist. The flavor only lasts for a couple of minutes, but I think they were going for much more than just long-lasting flavor here.

Texture: This gum was way ahead of its time. The grandparent of the now popular liquid-filled pellet gum, Freshen-up was among the first (if not the first) commercial gums to explore the concept that gum could be more than just a chewy, flavored stick. Gum is a treat, a kind of candy, dating back to the five-and-dime gumballs cupped in the palm of a twelve-year-old boy, alongside licorice and chocolates. This gum recognized the importance of the first bite for some people-- how for some, it doesn't matter how long the flavor lasts or how malleable the chew is after ten minutes. For some people, it's all about that burst of flavor right at the start. Getting to chew it for longer than a gummy bear, well that's just an added bonus. It's a whole different market, and it's given birth to such diverse favorites as Dentyne Pure and Bubblicious Mango Peach Bursts.

Presentation: Celebrating thirty-five years on the market, this gum has always been a fierce competitor for flashier packages and cheap (although effective) gimmicks. It's packaging hasn't changed for as long as I can remember, metallic pink and an illustration of an oozing piece of gum. It's simple, unassuming, and blends in with all the others on the rack if you're not looking for it.

Overall: I have to admit that when I mention this gum to my friends, no one can ever really remember the name of it, although most do recount fond memories of a pack in their pockets in grammar school. I can't remember the last time I saw someone pull a piece of Freshen-up out of a bag and start chewing. Does anyone still buy Freshen-up? Or are the packs in the stores as fresh as the day I bought them fifteen years ago?

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)


Monday, August 30, 2010

Wrigley's 5 Prism

Flavor: Katie knows that when it comes to watermelon, I'm much more of a fan of artificial watermelon flavor (a Jolly Rancher is the perfect example of this) than an actual watermelon. I actually don't like actual watermelon very much at all. The new 5 flavor, Prism, is billed as "...an electric watermelon." And I have to say, that of all the artificial watermelons I've tasted, this one comes the closest to natural watermelon flavor. Right there it's got one subjective strike against it. Then it gets weird. The "electric" part of this gum is actually palatable. It's another one of those scary-gum-chemical-reactions that you can feel going on in your mouth that makes you wonder exactly what kind of phenylketonurics they've got going on here. There's a definite tingle in the chew - a quasi-carbonation, sort of a peppery tingle. If you leave the wad in the same spot in your mouth for too long it actually kind of burns. Very disconcerting, and just plain weird.

Texture: Nothing too interesting to say here. It starts off a bit too soft for my tastes but after a few minutes it firms up nicely.

Presentation: I've always been a fan of the 5 graphics, and this is no differently. Love the sleek black ribbed cardstock with the bright, almost tie-dyed color splashes. The matching foil is always pleasing to the eye.

Overall: As usual, I gasped with excitement when I saw a new gum in the checkout line today, and swooped it right up. I was super stoked that 5 had gone back to its roots after all the "React" shenanigans they've toyed us with recently. Unfortunately, this gum disappoints. Normally you can trust that 5 will be a worthy chew no matter what the flavor, but I'd probably stick to Extra Fruit Sensations Sweet Watermelon if I wanted a watermelony chew.

Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Extra Dessert Delights Strawberry Shortcake

Flavor: I have to admit right off the bat that I'm not the biggest fan of strawberry shortcake. If you put it in front of me, like any other sugary treat, of course I'll devour it, but I'd never choose it out of a lineup. All prejudices aside, though, I'd say this gum is just all right. It's got all the elements you'd expect out of a strawberry shortcake gum-- it's sweet and creamy and tastes of the familiar artificial strawberry flavor. I think I would have loved this gum when I was ten or eleven; it's got that really phony, terrible sweetness that reminds me very much of my smelly Strawberry Shortcake doll. I remember most adults gagging at the smell of her, though, a reaction that I finally now understand, thanks to Extra.

Texture: As a gum, it's a quality chew-- thick, not too soft, not too firm, keeps consistency for a long time. But I think that the reason I feel this gum falls short for "strawberry shortcake" is because so much of strawberry shortcake is about the texture-- the soft flesh of the strawberries, the spongy bread, the smoothness of the cream. That's what I most enjoy about it, anyway, and I feel like it loses half its appeal here. Again, I would not have given texture a second thought back in the day, if a free pack of this stuff had come with my awesome smelly dolly.

Presentation: I wonder if it might suit Extra better to market these three "Dessert Delights" independently from one another. I mean, it's true, they do have lots in common-- they're all desserts, they all have that unique creaminess to them, and they're all in one way or another delightful. But I think that, unlike Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip, and even Key Lime Pie to an extent, I wouldn't categorize this particular gum as a "sinful indulgence," per se. It's a kid's gum, simple and sickeningly sweet. Smack a cartoon character on there and Extra will be selling these by the handful. As for the way it's packaged now, though, I doubt it would have caught my eye as a kid, when lined up on the shelf beside such masterpieces as Hubba Bubba Max Sweet and Sassy Cherry or straight up Big League Chew.

Overall: I feel like I can't give this an objective rating, since it tastes like it's intended primarily for kids. But then, I feel like the packaging is not marketing to kids, so I shouldn't have to censor my adult opinions. So in honor of my old friend Miss Shortcake, in all of her stinky glory, I'll err on the favorable side of the gumball scale this time around.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Extra Dessert Delights Key Lime Pie


Flavor: Interesting. I'm not a huge key lime pie person, but the first few chomps of this gum really make me crave it. The flavor is totally spot-on here. You can almost taste each element- graham cracker crust, whipped cream, and tangy lime filling- separately. The flavor doesn't fade too quickly, either. It does mellow a bit with a prolonged chew, but it never loses the Key-Limeness.

Texture: Big fat fail, Extra. It starts out so good, you wonder how it could possibly be sugarfree. The creaminess of the texture matches the creaminess of the flavor at first, but the longer you chew, the harder it gets. I actually find myself avoiding the side of my mouth with the dental crown, for fear that I'll knock it loose with this gum. It's one of those gums that if you spread it over your tongue, it almost feels like a latex balloon.

Presentation: Standard Extra packaging. I really like the font of the "Key Lime Pie" header for some reason. And like Katie said in her review of the Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Delights, Extra should totally have taken advantage of the spot-on flavor of this line and called out its "Sinful Indulgence."

Overall: When I first heard about this gum line, I was ridiculously excited to taste the advance samples that Katie got from a friend. So far I've tasted this and the Mint Chip, and I'm really not impressed with either of them (despite my sister's enthusiasm.) I don't know why, exactly-- they're certainly tasty enough -- but they're just "meh." to me.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip

Flavor: I scream, you scream, we all scream for... GUM! People, this is not a test. I repeat. This is NOT a test. Or a dream, or a fantasy... it's happened. A gum that really, truly tastes not only like chocolate, but like chocolate mint ICE CREAM. As with all faux chocolate mints or gum, I was skeptical when I heard about the new line of Extra Dessert Delights. I tried desperately not to get my hopes up when our secret shopper informed me we had some pre-release Dessert Delight gum to review. It had me at the first bite. It's creamy. It's sweet. It's cold. It's minty. It's chocolatey. Folks. It's chocolate mint chip ice cream... GUM. I'm wiping back tears, here. My dream has finally come true. And... and... you can chew it for as long as you want, and it won't run out of flavor, and and... I mean, Willy Wonka would do a tumblesault. And then he'd get back up again, and he'd do another.

Texture
: As with the flavor, the texture is consistent and lasts for as long as I've dared to chew. It's that notoriously well-structured Extra texture. I'm so happy it was Extra that pulled this rabbit out of the hat.

Presentation: Does it even need a flashy package? Extra knew that no, it really didn't. The package is simple, it's sea foam green, it's got brown and white squiggles, but it's really just about the whopping bowl of ice cream front and center. Once word spreads, these packs will be flying off the shelves, creative packaging or no. The words "Sugarfree Gum" are particularly prominant here, and I think that's going to be important for marketing once the commercials start popping up. If I were Extra, I would totally go with the "guilt free indulgence" crap that people are eating up these days.

Overall: I apologize for getting sentimental, but this is really big for me, and for so many people out there. It's revolutionary-- all that garbage that "they" have been trying to feed us for years about how chewing gum can "satisfty your sweet tooth," substitute that Hersey's bar, swap out your 1000 calories for >5... it's all been a joke until now. This gum doesn't make me want chocolate like those expensive chocolate-smelling candles, nor does it leave my teeth grimy with sugar like that actual (delicious) bowl of ice cream. It's actually like chewing a bowl of refreshing, delicious, creamy (did I mention it's just so creamy?) chocolate chip mint ice cream. Oh man, here come the waterworks again. In the words of Willy himself, "Take a look and you'll see into your imagination." Even if someone doesn't roll me out of here like Violet Beauregard in the next ten minutes, I'll never be the same again.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs) ...but only because I couldn't give it six.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big League Chew Outta' Here Original

Flavor: This is what Bubble Gum is all about. No frills, no burst of sour, no crunchies. Just pure, all-out sugary bubble gum goodness.

Texture: If nothing else, being a gum blogger has taught me that I have absolutely no idea how to chew Big League Chew. It's never been a gum to me, it's always been a game. The only time I've ever chewed Big League Chew in my life is when my sister or best friend and I have picked up a couple packs and had a contest to see how much we could fit in our mouths without gagging. (We always ended up gagging. It was disgusting.) As a result, it's really difficult for me to objectively blog about the texture - I've never had any idea how much of it I'm supposed to eat. I've had a few wads of it in preparation for this review, and no matter how small of an amount of shreds I chew, it always seems to be too much. From what I think I can gather, this gum starts off really soft. Like really soft, to the point where I feel like it's going to liquify. After a good 45-60 seconds, it starts to firm up and become a more enjoyable chewing experience. Bubbles with Big League Chew are fantastic. I've always maintained that BLC was the best gum for bubble blowing, and although recent gums like Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape Triple Treat give BLC a run for their money in the bubble-blowing category, BLC still remains tops in my book for bubbles.

Presentation: What can be said about Big League Chew's packaging? It's flawless. Now that I'm sitting here analyzing it, I don't understand how Big League Chew is still being manufactured, what with all the overprotective parents out there. BLC is shredded to look like chewing tobacco, and packed in a foil pouch... like chewing tobacco. It was created in the early 1980s to discourage the use of chew and provide a fun alternative. I can understand the mentality and the reasoning in the early 1980s, but in today's "Joe Camel Must Die" society I'm surprized that this has slipped through the cracks.

Overall: C'mon. It's Big League Chew. Who doesn't love Big League Chew?

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gum Contest Winner!!!

Sorry for not posting this earlier, but congratulations to Stephanie, whose favorite gum is Trident Cinnamon, for winning the gum contest!

ZOMG check out what she won!!


Stay tuned for our next contest, coming soon!
(HINT: "Like" us on facebook to be among the first to know the details!)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Trident Splash Summer Spearmint

Flavor: I could be wrong, but this gum tastes an awful lot like its cousin Trident layers Cool Mint + Melon Fresco . It's a subtle sweet melon, much like a cantaloupe, with the cooling sensation of mint. It's such a nice flavor, why not re-purpose this flavor into pellet-form? It's common in the gum world to offer several varieties of the same flavor for folks who prefer pellets to sticks or vice-versa. But I really hate when companies try to trick their customers by re-packaging a flavor and wrapping it in a flashy "New!" label with a name that appeals to different senses. In this case, I'm not even sure what "Summer Spearmint" is supposed to taste like. It's actually sort of gross to imagine a spearmint flavor combined with a watermelon flavor-- they're just not compatible, they're no peanut butter and chocolate. Luckily, I detect no spearmint undertones here, so it works. But why not just offer the Cool mint + Melon fresco in pellet form? As a fan of that gum, I definitely would have been interested and would have offered it to my pellet-loving friends to whom I've never recommended the Trident Layer varieties.

Texture: This is a really substantial chew for a pellet, it's hearty and maintains a nice bite for a long time. The outer shell feels thinner than others upon first bite, a nice delicate crunch at the get-go. I think my pack sat on the racks for too long, though, as the inner goo was all but dissolved in many of the pieces. In the pieces that did have the goo, though, it wasn't even really that noticeable. Oh-- and vegetarians, put the pack down. This one's got gelatin, too.

Presentation: The packaging on this gum seems more out-of-date to me than Trident Layers. It's got bold greens and pinks, large font-size, very little white space and no artsy-fartsy designs. If I weren't hunting for new gum (as I always do...) I would have assumed this was an older gum that slipped by us until now.

Overall: Packaging and masquerading of delicious flavors aside, this is a really good gum. I think the goo falls a little short, but I love the flavor so much that I really don't care. If it were between this and Trident Layers, though, I'd probably go with that.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Clorets



This review is sponsored by our friends at BestCandyStore.com!

Flavor: According to the Wikipedia article on Clorets, there are a few different flavors of Clorets in existence, but a quick Google search really only yields one flavor widely for sale: Green. There's no mention on the pack of a flavor at all, let alone a specific mint, be it pepper or spear or winter. Green, in the gum world, generally denotes a spearmint, but Clorets bucks that trend. Clorets mint isn't a spearmint at all; if I had to classify it, I'd say it were much more peppermint-like. Specifics aside, this gum packs a really great flavor. It starts off nicely strong, but not overly so, and fades to a smooth breath-freshening coolness. I had no idea about this, but the "Clor" in Clorets is a little play on words - Clorets contain Chlorophyll, which apparently has odor-absorbing qualities. Who knew? It's certainly not a factoid that is taught in fifth grade science in the Chlorophyll and You: Fun with Photosynthesis chapter.

Texture: The initial candy shell crunch of Clorets is one of the best I've encountered, and once the shell shards dissolve, the resulting wad is perfectly soft and pliable. I feel it's necessary to point out that Clorets is, surprisingly, a sugared gum. It doesn't feel like it, in either flavor or texture. It seems like kind of a waste... if I wanted to promote tooth decay I'd rather chew some Bubble Tape or Hubba Bubba and have some fun with it. Clorets, as good as it is, isn't really much fun. No bubbles to speak of - it's much too thin and sticky for that.

Presentation: It's old school. A cardstock paper box, minimal graphics, white text. Pretty boring. One plus is that the package is bilingual. It's good that our Spanish-speaking friends know that the FENILCETONURICS CONTIENE FENILALANINA.

Overall: Man. If I asked someone for a piece of gum and they pulled THIS out of their pocket? They'd be relentlessly made fun of for the rest of the day. Clorets is "old people gum," much like Freedent or Choward's Violet Gum. Who chews Clorets, anyway? Clorets is one of those gums that I've always known existed, but I've never really thought to pick up a pack. I'm always kind of surprised to see it's still around at all. When our buddy at BestCandyStore.com offered to send us some gum of our choosing to review, I was immediately drawn to the Clorets, because I would have NEVER bought it myself. I'm glad they sent it over to us, though... it's a surprizingly good gum.

Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Starbucks Sugar-Free Chewing Gum - Peppermint


Flavor: You'd think that Starbucks, a company known for selling a product that's notorious for causing nasty breath, would make a gum with an Altoids-like "pop" to it. Not the case with this gum. It's a very mellow mint, and the flavor fades really fast. The package proclaims a "cool burst of minty freshness," but there is no burst at all. It doesn't taste bad, just... blah.

Texture: This gum is really weird. First off, it looks like mints. It's like someone accidentally spilled some gum base pellets into the breath mint hopper, and some warehouse dude was like "Let's see what happens..." and this gum was born. It reminds me a lot of Razzles, except for grownups. It starts off really chalky and eventually does congeal, but the wad that's left is really waxy. There will be no cracking or popping with this gum - it's seriously like wax lips.

Presentation: Nice job by Starbucks here. This gum is presented neatly in a little slide-top metal tin, and all the little gum-mints are lined up inside. It's almost like they could have added a special graphic or something and put a marketing spin on it, "Collect all four!" or something.

Overall: The only time I can see anyone buying this gum is on a severe impulse or desperation, much like my co-worker did. She ate some Mexican food for lunch and stopped for a cup of coffee on her way back to work, and realized that her carnitas were funking up her breath, so she picked up the pack in Starbucks. I certainly don't see this as anyone's favorite gum, or even anyone making a special trip to Starbucks to pick it up. As pretty as it looks, it's not a great gum.

Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Orbit Mist Spearmint Spritzer

Flavor: It seems that every time I've purchased this gum to review it, I eat the entire pack before getting the chance to review it. I've reviewed a lot of spearmint gums already, but this one stands out as a unique flavor amid a sea of spearmint varieties. Slightly sweet and delightfully cold, this Orbit Mist takes spearmint to a newer, more refreshing place-- a sort of cleansing, wintery feeling, reserved usually for gums that use words like "Polar" and "Freeze." I've found that most spearmints offer more in the way of flavor than sensation, but this is a cool treat on a hot day, an ice cube at the bottom of your soda cup, and it still has those green spearmint properties we all know and love.

Texture: The packaging attributes the "hydrating sensation" to "micro-bursts," but I can't help but feel like the "wetness" of this gum has nothing to do with the little beads that crunch at the start of the chew. It's an enduring sensation, and does feel as though it's hydrating, like that ice cube melting on your tongue. The texture otherwise stays just firm enough for as long as you choose to chew.

Presentation: Orbit Mist is all about the slightly askew concentric circles, perhaps imitating ripples in water around a raindrop. The package is metallic blue, and when combined with the circles, portrays the ice cold hydration that is present throughout the whole chew.

Overall: I've bought at least half a dozen packs of this gum (at least) before saving one measly piece for a review. That fact alone almost invariably ensures a rating of five gumballs, and most definitely does in this case.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

eclipse Breeze Exotic Berry


Flavor: Alright, this has got to be a joke. This tastes like cough syrup. No, really - it tastes. Like. Cough Syrup. Not "reminiscent of cough syrup" or "cough-syrup undertones," this gum is full-on COUGH SYRUP. Nasty cough syrup, too. Like the kind of cough syrup that permeates your bitter taste buds and makes you shudder, the kind that you have to throw back like a tequila shot, lest your gag reflex overcome you. Apparently this gum contains "Cardamom," which according to Wikipedia, is a spice that does have medicinal properties. And you know... the longer I chew, the "spicier" it becomes, if you can call it that. It's kind of like the aftertaste of a clove cigarette. Gross.

Texture: Being a pellet gum, I expected a standard crunchy candy shell, but I was disappointed. There was no initial crunch, the chew of eclipse Breeze starts off like a stale piece of taffy. It does soften to a semi-chewable consistency, but really, but I don't really want to chew on a clove cigarette.

Presentation: The packaging is an appealing pink, with glittery-like graphics around the eclipse in the eclipse logo. (Have you ever noticed that before? It's new to me in the last few weeks - but now that I've seen it, it's all I see... much like the arrow in the FedEx logo.) The gum itself is flecked with red spots, leading me to believe it might be full of the crunchies I do so very much love in my gum, but alas, the flecks are misleading, as there are no crunchies in this gum. The gold bar on the bottom states "with Cardamom to Neutralize the Toughest Breath Odors." Inappropriate capitalization aside, I just don't get the "Neutralize" part. How does making your breath stink like nasty herbal cigarettes "neutralize" anything?

Overall: My reviews are rarely completely negative, but this gum is totally gross. I get a sense that the eclipse brand is faltering, and will soon go the way of care*free, disappearing into the gum void forever. This might be their attempt to revitalize the brand, I don't know, but the execution fails miserably here. In the Breath Neutralization War, Dentyne pure emerges as the clear victor.

Rating: o (one gumball)

Monday, July 12, 2010

International Spotlight: Watering Kiss Mint

Flavor: A colleague of mine was gracious enough to bring me back a few packs of gum from his recent trip to Japan. After I opened and inspected each pack, I knew that this would have to be my first review, mostly because I need to get rid of it, ASAP. To be blunt, this gum smells. A lot. I had to close it in my nightstand drawer because it was such a presence in the bedroom and actually inhibited sleep. But the smell itself roused many a memory in me, as it is reminiscent of the old discontinued Extra Original Bubble! I was really excited when I placed the familiar scent, hoping that this delicious, sweet, indescribably fruity gum was masquerading under a clever pseudonym. Alas, the flavor was a shock, as it wasn't Original Bubble, after all. Upon my second piece, however, once I was over my grief for my old friend O. Bubble, I decided it was a pretty delicious taste on its own. It's very very cold, and it is indeed quite wet, as wet, I'd say, as Orbit Mist. The bubble flavor does have hints of Extra Original Bubble, but is unique-- a bubblegum base, but much sweeter. The taste is a little overwhelming, but not as bad as the smell.

Texture: The texture is also similar to Extra. It's a good balance between soft and chewy, and doesn't stale or harden after at least 15 minutes of chewing (I'm not sure how it'll hold up beyond that, as I'm not planning on chewing it for much longer).

Presentation: Although the package resembles Stride or Orbit, I was delighted to discover a new gum structure-- a three-quarter size traditional stick of gum. I thought this might disintegrate into too small of a piece upon extended chewing, but it actually has a very substantial chew. The package itself is unimpressive, a sort of Photoshop-looking shape and a gray background.

Overall: Honestly, I don't think I'm going to finish this pack of gum. It's got a really intense smell and flavor, and I can't imagine having a conversation with someone while chewing it-- it's tantamount to a thirteen-year-old boy learning to wear cologne and stinking up the classroom for a few months before he understands "less is more." But it certainly was an experience that I don't regret, and the jogged memories of my special Extra Original Bubble grant Watering Kiss Mint a high-ish gumball rating.

Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Orbit Peppermint


Flavor: I've been chewing and reviewing an awful lot of peppermint gums lately, but this peppermint is a little different from the rest. Peppermint flavor is hard to explain, so I don't know how much sense this is going to make, but the flavor of this gum is a little more "wintry" than the other peppermints. It's got the cool breath-freshening sensation, but a really nice, warm undertone. As usual, the Orbit flavor really lasts. I've been chewing about 20 minutes now, and I can still taste the initial flavor burst.

Texture: While the chew itself is alright in terms of malleability, it doesn't really lend itself to "playing with" in the mouth. If you try to spread it over your tongue, it gets thin and "webby" too easily. The gum also has a slight squeak, though nothing that would make me self-conscious in a business meeting.

Presentation: I keep meaning to pick up my Orbit in their new funky packaging (which deserves a post all to itself, I think,) but I always forget, or it's not around when I pick up a pack. This particular pack is standard Orbit "mint gum" packaging: Blue metallic inks and a centered brand logo. Nothing fancy, nothing special.

Overall: As far as peppermints go, this one's fantastic. I do have to take a point off for the weird texture, but that's really my only complaint. I can see this being a lot of people's favorite gum.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)