Extra Fruit Sensations: Island Cooler

Flavor: This gum fills your mouth with mango and citrus for about five seconds and almost immediately fades. It might as well be edible, seeing how quickly the flavor fizzles. It’s a good flavor, I’ll give it that, but I don’t know if it lives up to the name of “Island Cooler.” It doesn’t cool my mouth at all. It’s a fruity burst and then a flavorless hunk of rubber.

Texture: This gum is full bodied, like most Extras, but a bit too mushy too quickly. I remember back when I first tried this gum, I chewed a piece long enough that it turned into a gob of mush, falling apart between my teeth, formless. I haven’t chewed a piece long enough this time around for that to happen, and I’m not going to find out if it’s still the case. I chew it long enough that it makes me want to gag, and then I spit it out.

Overall: The inside of this package says, “We couldn’t fit a cabana boy in the pack so you’ll have to get your own.” This is another subtype of “Fruit Sensation” (I blogged on Sweet Watermelon yesterday), and I’ve decided that Extra is wasting too much time on marketing and not spending enough time on the product quality. It’s good, but lackluster, and for all the bells and whistles on the label, it really doesn’t do much for me. Eh, it’s arrite, but I won’t be buying it again. Stop trying to be cute, Extra: It’s what’s inside that counts.
Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Extra Fruit Sensations: Sweet Watermelon

Flavor: It’s a delicious representation of the traditional fake watermelon flavor, with no claims of “cooling” or “minty” sub-flavors. It’s exactly what it is, it’s sweet watermelon, bright and watermelony to start and lasting long through the whole chew. It’s yummy, simple, a treat. It’s not a gum I can chew for a long time, more of a quick sweet treat, like a Starburst, after a meal.

Texture: This is a full-bodied gum that lends itself to bubble-blowing, but is too sticky to really execute a full bubble with confidence. After a while, though, something about it—maybe the flavor, maybe the texture, pretty much just ejects it from my mouth, almost as a reflex, my tongue forces it out and I have to catch it and chuck it.

Overall: So I chewed this gum for a day in preparation for the gumblog, but by the evening I realized that I didn’t want to chew another stick in order to write it. Alas, I took the risk. This is yet another gum that forms sores in my mouth, which is always a rather…disconcerting characteristic in a gum. Sores aside (maybe I just have a sensitive mouth), it’s a good gum, for what it is. I couldn’t see it being anyone’s favorite gum, maybe the stand-by for a change every so often. But me? I will not be chewing it again. It might taste good, but it’s just not worth the mouth corrosion.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Orbit Fabulous Fruitini

Flavor: At first I wasn’t sure what I thought of the flavor. This gum starts out subtle and soon increases in flavor to a very nice fruit-filled melody, but then just as quickly fades into nothingness, a victim of Gum Base Syndrome. Once the flavor fades, and it fades fast, it has practically no taste at all.

Texture: I can’t complain much about the texture, it remains chewable from start to finish… but who wants to chew unflavored gum base, anyway?

Overall: This gum came out last year in a season of new gum FILLED with Orbit opportunities. Orbit flooded the market with a ton of new flavors, and of course I tried them all, so I had completely forgotten about Fabulous Fruitini. Now I remember why – it’s completely forgettable. The way fruit flavors are saturating the gum market, a fruit gum really has to stand out to be memorable in my book, and Fabulous Fruitini just falls flat. I don’t recommend this gum, and I will not be chewing it again.Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Trident Original Flavor

Flavor: The flavor of Trident Original flavor is pretty bland. There’s no burst, no explosion, just a subtle mint from start to finish. Trident Original doesn’t mean to be flashy – there’s no exclamation points on the label, no crunchy bits in the gum itself. Trident Original was the very first sugarless gum ever, first appearing in 1964, and it’s stuck around so long because they haven’t changed it. It’s a pleasant mint, it freshens the breath. It works.

Texture: Trident, as Katie pointed out in her very first review, knows gum. It’s hard to critique the texture of this gum. It’s soft at first chew, and doesn’t harden or soften. It’s just great.

Overall: With the exception of a reformulation with xylitol (which obviously wasn’t a bad thing,) Trident Original has been THE sugarless gum since 1964. While I don’t personally know anyone who calls this gum their favorite, I have no doubt that there are hundreds, if not thousands of people who always have a pack of Trident Original in their purse or pocket. I bet my Grandma would if she didn’t have dental work that makes Freedent her only choice. That being said, I just have no other option than to give this gum five gumballs. It’s a nice chew, I’d absolutely chew it again, and it would just be disrespectful not to.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Mist Mango Surf

Flavor: At first? Awesome. Much like its’ sister gum, Watermelon Spring, Orbit Mist Mango Surf’s flavor explodes in your mouth when you first chew it. It’s a tangy, amazing sweet-and-sour, and the “hydrating micro-bursts” have that subtle crunch that’s unique to the new Orbit Mist line. Unfortunately, the flavor of Mango Surf fades very quickly.

Texture: I may be able to forgive this gum if it had an even decent texture, but from first chomp to last, the texture of this gums falls very flat. It starts out hard, too hard really to even appreciate the flavor explosion and the micro-burst crunch. There is a pleasant texture about 2 minutes into the chew – just as the flavor is starting to fade – and then it turns way too soft and sticky. It sticks to my lips much more than a gum should when I attempt to crack it or blow bubbles. I cannot chew this gum for more than 10 minutes at a time before I get annoyed and have to chuck it.

Overall: This gum falls short in every way. I’m quite disappointed in this line from Orbit. I’ve come to expect more. I definitely don’t regret this gum experience, the Mango explosion in itself was worth the price of the pack, but it wasn’t enough for this to be a repeat gum for me.Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Trident Tropical Twist

Flavor: An explosion of mango, tropical citrus, kaplam! And then it lulls into a delightful, steady release of sweet and slightly tangy juicy flavor. The flavor lasts and lasts, never failing to exert its slow-release of fruity freshness for as long as you decide to chew. If you’re thirsty, it temporarily quenches your thirst. Craving sweets? It bites that sweet craving in half. It’s as sweet as a papaya, tangy as taffy, true fruity gum perfection.

Texture: It’s a gum to be chewed, not blown, not cracked. It’s firm and unassuming, constant in volume throughout the entire chew.

Overall: I had been putting off reviewing this gum as I felt too close to it to really give an objective assessment. And it’s not objective at all. Tropical Twist and I have so many memories together—it was my Old Faithful for years upon its conception. I delighted in its fruity sweet explosion, chewed it on the train and at work, at parties while drinking beer, in the car and after a good run. It quenched my thirst and hunger at an overcrowded concert in Boston in 2006, it was the gum that finished out hundreds of meals and freshened my breath with pure tropical goodness time and time again. Every so often someone will smell it wafting through the air and will ask if I’m eating candy (“What smells so good?” and then, “Can I have some?”). No, it’s not candy, folks. It’s the best fruity gum around. Thank you Tropical Twist—although I’ve switched to minty, I’m sure we’ll be together again, and I’ll enjoy every last stick of this gumalert pack.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Bubblemint

Flavor: Sweet, traditionally bubblegummy, a really fine saccharine representative of what usually is a very sugary treat. It’s a pleasant flavor that lasts until you decide to throw it away, and even lingers for a good long while after you’re done chewing—which is a good thing, unless you’re sick of it. It’s such a strong flavor that it’s the kind of gum I can only have once in a while, but that I do crave from time-to-time. It’s like a really strong food dish (to me, like Indian food, for example), one that you love to eat but not every night of the week.

Texture: It has a really nice smooth texture that goes mushy but in a good way. The mushiness is just malleable, it doesn’t crumble in your mouth. It’s a different kind of chew, soft, yet stable. However, you’d expect a bubblegum flavor gum to entice you to blow bubbles, whereas this one does not. When I *do* try to blow bubbles, they’re sticky and difficult to peel from your lips after they pop.

Overall: One time I bought a pack of this gum and I felt like it was the most amazing gum I’d ever had. The bubblegum flavor was so sweet and cooling and long-lasting, the texture so smooth and malleable that I looked forward to chewing it and concentrated on chewing it, oftentimes while doing nothing else (This was during my college years. I had a lot of free time.). But once the pack was gone, I didn’t buy it again. It’s such a distinct bubble flavor that I just got sick of it. I’ll admit that it’s my best friend’s (and probably our only reader’s) favorite. She buys it by the can (the hard-shell variety of this gum is available in a little plastic jar by the dozens) and chews it regularly. I don’t know—it’s good, refreshing, I buy it all the time and recommend it to bubblegummers.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Eclipse Fresh & Cool

Flavor: The packaging of this gum is misleading. The color is the exact shade of wintergreen Tic Tacs, so that’s what I was expecting to taste when I bit down – that sweet, somewhat pepto-y mint. False. Eclipse Fresh & Cool doesn’t taste anything at all like wintergreen Tic Tacs. It’s very, very generic. It’s named properly – it is fresh and it is cool, but so is every other mint gum on the market. It’s adequate, it freshens breath. It’s a standard mint gum.
Texture: As with most pop-out, blister-packed gum, it starts off crunchy when you crack the candy shell, and gets softer as you chew. With the exception of one brand that I’m sure I’ll get to reviewing eventually, most pop-out gums have the same texture. It’s a little too soft for my personal preference, but it certainly doesn’t fall apart or turn into plasma like other gums. It’s satisfactory.
Overall: It’s a decent gum. Though I probably won’t ever buy myself another pack of this gum unless I’m fooled again by the wintergreen Tic Tac packaging, I wouldn’t turn a piece down if it were offered to me. It was worth the try, and certainly not a bad experience.Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Orbit Sweet Mint

Flavor: What flavor? This gum tastes as if only half of the flavor powder was mixed with the gum base. I am constantly on the verge of enjoying a light, sweet mint flavor, but it’s so dull and distant that it just leaves me unsatisfied and wanting more. It’s like taking a bite of turkey on Thanksgiving and not getting to actually eat dinner. Such potential, and such disappointment.

Texture: Upon beginning to chew this gum, I expected (hoped) that it would soften with extensive chewing, but alas, it did not. From the beginning it’s just too hard. I imagine chewing this on a regular basis would cause that dull temple/jaw pain I associate with “needing to take a break from gum for a while,” like too many weekday hangover headaches to an alcoholic. But it’s just a poor quality chew, whether it’s one piece or one pack.

Overall: I’ve been giving Orbit four and five gumball ratings and I’m going to have to say that this was a huge letdown. Sweet mint is my favorite flavor combination and this gum not only falls short but is actually Unpleasant and DISsatifying. If it were any other brand, I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and grant it two, maybe three gumballs, but because it’s Orbit I’m rating it especially harshly because I know to what levels of gumdom Orbit can achieve. I’ve been intentionally avoiding this gum for months, and I’d forgotten why when I picked it up to gumblog it today. Now I remember why I’ve been avoiding it. It sucks.
Rating: o (one gumball)