Trident Passionberry Twist

Flavor: When Katie and I went on a vacation to the Dominican Republic last year, we fell in love with the passionfruit that was on the buffet fruit table. Unfortunately, after only a few bites of the actual fruit we were cursed with the most awful heartburn imaginable that lasted for hours and hours. Fortunately, Trident Passionberry Twist mimics the flavor of passionfruit without the uncomfortable throat acid. It’s a pleasant flavor, a bit tart yet sweet. Again, I don’t taste many “berries” in this gum, but I think the main point of the gum is the passionfruit, and it’s executed well.

Texture: Perfection. What can I say? Firm, yet soft, it’s a damn near perfect texture.
Overall: The other day, I was in my car driving when I realized I was chewing gum. I was so mindlessly chewing that I had forgotten about it entirely. Once I had the revelation, I had to think back to when I put the gum in my mouth, and it had been over an hour and a half. I blinked and recalculated, and recalculated. And there was no mistake. This single wad of gum (consisting of two pieces – I generally am a two-piece chewer) had lasted for over 90 minutes – and there was still flavor, the texture was still fine. Where other gums would have given out long before, Trident Passionberry Twist stood the test of time. While it could never overtake Extra Polar Ice as my all-time favorite gum, this Passionfruit delight is definitely going to make a triumphant entrance into my regular gum rotation. Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Orbit Mint Mojito

Flavor: What can I say, it’s one of those weeks that require lots of booze. So, first of all, the name of the gum—kind of redundant, isn’t it? Aren’t all mojitos mint? Perhaps it should be called something like the Sangria Fresca—Mojito Fresco or something. Because it does taste like lime and mint, I’ll give them that, and it does have that same weird boozy twang that the Sangria Fresca has. As I’m not a huge fan of mojitos or lime flavor in general, I have to say it’s not my favorite, just on principal. It is, however, surprisingly delightful, especially considering I’m not a huge fan. Again, this is a well-executed gum that I’m sure lime-lovers (how rare they are) everywhere are buying by the three-packs. Finally! Something for the people who eat all the greens!
Texture: A really meaty chewing gum, smooth and full. It’s different than most Orbitz, softer, more malleable, easier to crack. You can even get some little bubbles out of it. It’s a really fun chewing experience.
Overall: This is a good quality gum. It lasts long enough in both texture and flavor, and appeals to a rather neglected quadrant of the flavor-loving society (limers) while still appealing to the rest of us. It’s sweet, minty AND fruity, and a delight to chew. Not my favorite gum, but deserves much applause.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Stride Sweet Berry

Flavor: I don’t really taste much “Berry” in Stride Sweet Berry. It’s more like a nondescript “sweet” flavor, and to tell you the truth I think they could have left out the “berry” part of the name and it would have been more accurate. That being said, it’s not a bad flavor at all. It’s not very strong at all, kind of a mild sweet-tart-bitter blend. While it doesn’t have that initial flavor burst that I am such a fan of, the flavor is enjoyable and it does last pretty long – it better, with all the money Stride spends in advertising the fact.

Texture: Starts off a little too hard for my tastes. After a few chews it does soften up a bit but I believe that a good gum would be the opposite – begins soft and hardens (that’s what she said.) However, I can’t complain too much. The texture is just fine.

Overall: This is definitely someone’s favorite gum. Probably lots of people. People that understand the flavor, people that chew fruity gum, people that don’t get sores on their tongue from Stride brand gums. And I can appreciate that. It’s not, however, my favorite. Stride Sweet Berry leaves much to be desired, and I probably won’t be buying another pack except in a dire circumstance.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Orbit Sangria Fresca

Flavor: Traditionally, gum is chewed to eliminate the scent of booze on the breath. But Orbit has reached out to alcoholics like me and has insisted that that boozy flavor needn’t be concealed, it should be embraced, celebrated; it should be chewed. Concept-wise, I applaud your efforts, Orbit. And in this case, I think the success is more than just conceptual. Even smelling a piece of this purple gum is reminiscent of that extra “some”thing. Sangria is fruity and not too boozy, as is this gum. It’s a delight upon the first bite, an explosion of sangria in the middle of a banal work day. I’m not sure it’s incredibly “frescas,” but the mere fact that it’s gum makes it freshening, I guess. The flavor dulls after about ten minutes, but it’s tolerable to chew for longer if you want. I find the stale sangria flavor less-than-pleasurable.

Texture: It’s ok. Fine texture, firm, doesn’t soften too much as you chew. It’s pretty consistent throughout the whole chew. Although the texture of traditional sangria is much more delightful.

Overall: If only this gum were actually infused with booze, it would be a true gem. I’m not sure it’s my favorite flavor, but I think back in my fruity days I might have chewed this gum for several months. It’s interesting, unique. Way to go, Sangria fresca, I’m sure you’re someone’s favorite.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Wrigley’s 5 Flare

Flavor: The flavor of Wrigley’s 5 Flare certainly is nothing to write home about. I’m a fan of a cinnamon gum once in a while when I’m in the mood for a change, but 5 Flare just falls flat. It’s a little bit too sweet for my taste. If you like a milder cinnamon I suppose it would be fine, but I prefer my cinnamon flavor to be a little stronger, a little cinnamonny-er than this. The good part about it is that the flavor that IS there DOES last for a while.
Texture: In a word: SQUEAKY. Very, very squeaky. After the artificial sweeteners dissolve away it becomes by far the squeakiest gum I have ever chewed. It’s SO squeaky, I’d be self-conscious chewing it in a business meeting. The sound and the feeling in my teeth is driving me absoutely crazy as I type this. Squeakiness aside, the firmness is damn near perfect, but I can’t rate this gum very highly on texture due to that damn distracting squeak.
Overall: Not good, overall. I can’t see myself ever picking up another pack of Wrigley’s 5 Flare again. There are better cinnamon gums out there, with better flavor, that doesn’t squeak. And also I have to say that I hold a bit of a grudge against the 5 line due to the packaging. 5 was the first gum line to come out in those flat “pocket packs.” It was cool, and novel, and unique. It made the 5 line stand out. I liked it. But since then, ALL THE GUMS have switched to this stupid flat packaging. I miss Plen-T-Paks! They fit fine in my purse, pieces rarely fell out of the pack, and they slid in perfectly into this little shelf I have in my car where I keep my car-gum. The flat packs don’t do any of those things. I suppose they’re fine for men who carry gum in their pockets, but they don’t work for me. End rant.Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Stride Nonstop Mint

Flavor: On the inside of this package, it reads, “If you ever dreamed of naming your own chewing gum flavor, you’re in luck. We want your help renaming this flavor so, log on to stridegum.com to enter your ideas.” Comma misplacement aside, I felt that this ad was very appropriate as this flavor is much more than “nonstop mint,” in fact—nonstop mint is not very descriptive at all. Although I struggled to access the Web site, I intend to suggest one of two names—either Sweet Spearmint, or Starlight Mint. As a former favorite fan of Stride Sweetmint, I can say that this gum is just as pleasing as a sweet mint flavor, with a little extra flavor added in. It tastes delightfully like a starlight mint, without the cruddy sugar residue those mints leave on your teeth, but also contains more than a hint of spearmint that is less overpowering than ordinary spearmint and cut by the light sweetness. And the flavor really never stales. It, in fact, lasts and lasts.

Texture: The texture is fine, your basic stride goodness. Never goes mushy, never goes stale. It, in fact, lasts and lasts.

Overall: Now see, I’m torn. Would I buy this again? I would HAVE, if my all-time favorite Stride Sweet Mint hadn’t started causing those pesky little pimples on my tongue. Do I chew too much gum? Yes. Would chewing less gum eliminate these tongue pimples? Surely. Is that the solution I’m looking for? Absolutely not. This is a delightful gum, sweet, interesting, refreshing. But I fear it, too, will corrode my tongue. The color of the packaging is also enticing—a cool carribbean mint. I don’t know. I’ll judge this gum as though it doesn’t cause my mouth pain, as it hasn’t yet done so this time around. Well done, Stride, yet again.
Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Extra Fruit Sensations Strawberry Banana

Flavor: The flavor of Extra Fruit Sensations Strawberry Banana is actually quite accurate. Banana isn’t a flavor often found in sugarless gum, and Wrigley did a fantastic job of recreating it here. A perfect harmonious blend of strawberry and banana, it tingles the taste buds. Unlike most Extra gum, however, the flavor of this gum does not last an extra long time. It fades quickly and we’re left with a faint mostly-banana flavor. It’s like you can actually taste the blandness of unflavored gum base.
Texture: The texture of Extra Fruit Sensations works. It starts out fairly smooth and with continued chewing it remains firm yet malleable. It doesn’t work well for snapping or bubbles, however – it’s a little too soft and the bubbles too thin for it to really work.
Overall: This gum is nothing special. I’d chewed a few packs of it last year back when it first came out, and I liked it well enough but it never stuck around to become one of my staple gums. I was hoping that revisiting it for this blog would bring me a newfound appreciation for it, but alas it has again disappointed. It’s nice for a change because there’s nothing on the market with this unique flavor, but I can’t in good conscience rate it above a three. Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Trident White Cool Mangoberry

Flavor: The hand lotion I was applying while chewing this gum was sweeter and more pleasing than this gum. The flavor, even with the first supposedly strongest bite of outer shell, was dull and distant, nondescript—a generic “fruit” base that I couldn’t put my finger on. Then came the gross part—is that… cilantro that I detect? I cleansed my palate with a Hersey Kiss and tried again, hoping that the cilantro was a fluke, perhaps a chemical reaction in my nose with the delightful hand lotion. Nay. Cool? Mangoberry? I disagree. If I had to name this gum, it would be in a white package, labeled “Fruit-like Cilantro Gum.”

Texture: Crunchy at first, mushy and decreasing in size the longer I chew. It’s your typical pop-out gum, only without the burst of flavor.

Overall: This gum is pre-packaged buy-one-get-one-free for a reason, fellow gum chewers. Let me just say for the record that I’ve never been a fan of the hard-shelled, pop out gum varieties, but I don’t think my bias has anything to do with the failure of this gum to perform. I’ll chew the rest of it one day, months from now, when I run out of gum and in a fit of desperation find it on the bottom of a pile of papers in my cubicle at work. Well, at least it’s “whitening.”
Rating: o (one gumball)

Wrigley’s 5 Zing

Flavor: Touting itself as a “sour to sweet bubble” on its outside cellophane wrapper, 5 Zing is just that. On first chew, it’s a bit tart and really stimulates the taste buds. Its sour is a pleasant sour, not overly pungent like some other “sour” gums. After a few minutes of chewing, the sour fades to a nice standard bubblegum flavor that you’d expect to find coming from Wrigley’s.

Texture: The texture of 5 Zing is just fine. Nothing special, it works. It stays uniformly firm with continued chewing – it doesn’t turn mushy or too hard. It has a slight tackiness to it that I find a little annoying, but it’s nothing that would stop me from buying and chewing this gum regularly. Since it’s a bubblegum I feel obligated to rate its bubble-blowing abilities… and it rates poorly. The gum is too soft and the bubbles too thin to be able to blow a bubble with any size to it. They call it a bubblegum, but I definitely think that this is more of a bubblegum-flavored chewing gum.

Overall: I haven’t been a big fan of Wrigley’s 5 line since its inception. I’ve found the mints to be boring, and the cinnamon just run-of-the-mill. The introduction of 5 Zing changes my opinion of the line drastically. It’s a change from the ordinary, a unique chewing experience. I look forward to trying their other new flavor, Solstice (a warm and cool winter) as soon as I see a pack on the checkout line stands.Rating: oooo (four gumballs)

Orbit Wintermint

Flavor: Refreshing, yes. Minty, yes. I’d have to say that this gum is among the most classic of mint gums, cold at first and quite refreshing. It’s nothing special, though—it seems to me to be that same old tried and true minty flavor that does the job but that wouldn’t stand out in a lineup of mints. It maintains flavor for a long time—I’ve thrown pieces out at varying times but have never discarded out of disgust or lack of flavor. If anything, I just get bored of it. Classic, boring, a good fallback gum if your favorite mint is missing from its cardboard placeholder at the checkout counter.
Texture: The texture is pretty standard, it holds up and doesn’t soften as you chew, nor does it harden and become rubbery as some cold and minty gums tend to do after time. It holds its own.
Overall: Shannon and Matt purchased me three packs of this gum for Easter because she thought it was my new favorite gum. I accepted it with open arms. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this was one of the original flavors (along with Spearmint) that Orbit released in 2001 (http://www.wrigley.com/brands/orbit.do). That said, Wintermint is a stellar representation of Orbit on the whole– this is what Orbit aspires to be, this is what Orbit is. This particular package proclaims “MORE FABULOUS CLEAN FEELING!” which I’m going to label as dramatic and gimmicky. It’s minty, it’s refreshing, it’s fine. It’s a satisfactory gum, from start to finish. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Rating: oooo (four gumballs)