Trident Layers Cool Mint + Melon Fresco

Flavor : Based on our previous assessments of Trident Layers Wild Strawberry + Tangy Citrus and Trident Layers Green Apple + Golden Pineapple, I had some pre-conceived notions of this gum before I took the first bite, so in the beginning I was on the fence. I had expected a burst of flavor, a candy-like explosion of sweetness that faded rather quickly into a bland, but enjoyable, flavor. I was surprised to find that there was no initial burst, despite the layer of goo in the middle that seems to suggest candy-like properties. The preliminary chew was therefore judged unjustly, as I decided too quickly that the flavor was boring and dull and didn’t give it a fair chance before spitting it out. Upon a second piece, however, I quickly changed my mind. Layer gimmick aside, this gum exhibits a really enjoyable balance of melon and mint, a subtle marriage of two clashing flavors that, for the first time I can recall, actually does them both justice. The flavor is a harmonious bond between fruity and mint, a cooling sensation and a slight sweetness that is reminiscent of Trident Minty Sweet Twist (my personal favorite, ehem). It lasts a really long time, too, and I never got sick of it the longer I chew.

Texture : The layers confuse me a little, because there’s isn’t really a detectable purpose for the gelly inner layer. But who cares? It packs a really thick bite that maintains its elasticity and size for as long as I’ve chewed so far. It doesn’t get mushy or make bubbles in your mouth. It’s a great chew.

Presentation : This package portrays this gum quite well– an watery slice of melon splashing down into an imaginary electric blue mint leaf. It looks cool, refreshing, like drinking a mint mojito on the beach. It touts “with REAL mint flavor,” which is questionable, but it’s delicious, real mint or no. The packaging is suspect, however, as it does not list any ingredients expressly on the package. This is rather deceptive to the consumer, as we’ve heard these layer gums contain a form of pork, which is definitely a no-no for many folks out there. I know that I have a bad reaction to a particular artificial sweetener, as well, and would like to know what I’m chewing. A contact phone number is not sufficient in this case– this here is the only draw back, but I fear a big one, that might keep quite a many chewers from buying. And who could blame them.

Overall : It’s perfect. If only we knew who died (Porky, Babe?) so it could live. Sigh. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s worth wondering about.

Rating : oooo four gumballs

Glee Gum – Tangerine Flavor

Flavor: I’m always curious when companies decide to go with “tangerine” or “nectarine” to describe their flavors. Wouldn’t it just be easier to go with the safer alternative of “orange?” I don’t think the tastes are all THAT different. Anyway, Glee’s tangerine is quite nice. It’s more sweet than tangy, not quite living up to the ultimate orange-citrus-fruit flavor title that is currenty held by Orange Tic Tacs (c’mon, you know you eat them by the box,) but it’s a pleasant flavor nonetheless. It runs out quickly, however. This seems to be the major flaw in Glee Gums.
Texture: A nice candy shell crunch evens out to a decent chew. With continued chewing, it gets a little waxy and somewhat sticky to the teeth.
Presentation: The Glee Guy returns on the Tangerine flavor’s package. In fact, all Glee packaging features our friend the Glee Guy, who came and said hello on our review of Glee Bubblegum and has a Twitter page of his very own. As with the Bubblegum, the pellets come in a cute, retro-styled, convenient reclosable box.
Overall: As I said before, I’m on a pretty strict diet because of my daughter’s allergies, and soy-free gums are hard to come by. I’m really quite bummed out that I can’t sample all the awesome new gums out there, but I am comforted that I have my friend the Glee Guy by my side to get me through this hardship.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)

Stride Shift Berry + Mint

Flavor : I must preface this review by reminding our readers that Shannon and I have a rule that we must always be chewing the gum-in-question at the time of the review. I struggled with the possibility of not chewing a second piece of this gum while reviewing– it’s that gross. In the end, my professional morals held strong, and now I’m chewing the second piece of the most disgusting gum I’ve had in a long, long time. I know all sugar-free gums are chemical-based and are probably leading me on a slow journey to an early death, but I can almost feel this gum in action as it deteriorates my life cells. It starts out bad and “shifts” to worse. I gave the Orange + Mint version of this gum some credit for trying something new and taking a risk. But I just can’t do it again. The “berry” tastes like a straight-up packet of Sweet and Low, and the mint never even really comes to fruition at all. What you’re left with is a phony-sweet lump of cold in your mouth with no defining flavors or positive attributes.

Texture : I can’t even go into the texture– it doesn’t matter what the bite of the gum is like– I’m too distracted by the film of chemical coldness that sticks to every surface in your mouth, a sort of slime that stays for at least half an hour after you stop chewing. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of the film, chewing a different piece of gum or swishing a mouthful of water won’t do it. It’s so unpleasant that I was actually worried that brushing my teeth after this piece wouldn’t eliminate the nasty cold lingering feeling and I’d be stuck with it for another hour of my life.

Presentation : As with its orange counterpart, this gum seems to be marketed toward adults, although I saw a little kid eyeing it up as I was opening it in the mall. It is a compelling concept– (Two gums in one?! I’ve got to try that!), but even upon conception it seems counterintuitive that a berry flavor could shift into a mint flavor flawlessly, without an inevitable merging of flavors (a la Orbit Bubblemint). Alas, it falls short, after all.

Overall : Ughl, can I take this out of my mouth now? (That’s what she said.)

Rating : o one gumball

5 React (Blue)

Flavor : This is my second review of the strange 5 React flavors that nobody can seem to really figure out. This is presumably the last of its kind, as there appears to only be two varieties of these almost-5 flavors. The blue pack, which has no indication of flavor other than “blue,” tastes to me an awful lot like Extra Polar Ice (although, that being Shannon’s favorite gum, she might violently disagree.) I almost picked up a pack of Polar Ice to compare, but to be fair to 5 Blue, I wanted to judge it on its own. It’s cold and minty, and leaves a rather unpleasant cold film in my mouth while chewing. It’s not a mint for those of us who favor sweetness, it’s a toothpaste-like, standard mint.

Texture : It’s got a good bite, and the cold sensation is notable. It does get a little foamy, but for the most part it’s an all right chew.

Presentation : Ok, so I don’t want to be redundant in my posts, but the gum itself is black– this is not something that can be overlooked. Some folks think this indicates a sort of classiness, reminiscent of the silver-and-black themed wedding at the Ritz or something. In my review of the orange flavor, I likened this metallic coloring to the cautionary tales about mercury poisoning that I heard as a child. I just can’t get that thought out of my head, and besides that– if anyone were to catch me spitting this hunk of molten metal into the garbage, they might expect I am part Terminator.

Overall : I don’t know, I just don’t get it. It’s ok. But it’s silver, and there’s this weird trippy marketing scheme that goes along with it. It doesn’t fit in with the 5 family (Zing, Rain, etc.), it’s not particularly good in any special way. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the black sheep of gum– and although I have a soft spot in my heart for black sheep, this one just doesn’t make any sense.
Rating : ?

Glee Gum – Bubblegum Flavor

Presentation: The packaging of Glee Gum is a really cute retro style box. It features a gleeful guy, jumping for joy at the prospect of chewing this All Natural Gum Made With Rainforest Chicle. Yum! The box contains 18 pink 1/2″ x 1/2″ pellets. It should be noted that if opened correctly, the packaging is really convenient and recloseable. The first pack I opened, I did it wrong, and now I have to be really careful that all the gumz don’t fall out. Be sure to press in the little tab and lift the whole side of the box off.

Flavor: A really pleasant, stereotypical bubblegum flavor. This is a sugared gum, so it’s not surprising that the bubblegum is spot-on. It fades pretty quick, and that rainforest chicle is all you’re left with – and it’s totally the blandest of the bland gum base. It’s not bad, though… there’s no bitter back-of-the-mouth bitterness, just blah.

Texture: A mild pellet-shell crunch is followed by a nice, albeit slightly waxy, textured chew. The texture holds up far longer than the flavor does, which isn’t saying much. It binds nicely and doesn’t fall apart or get too hard.

Overall: I’m nursing my 3-month old daughter, and recently we’ve discovered that she has some food allergies, which has severly limited what I can eat at the moment. Right now, I am off dairy, soy and eggs. Imagine my shock and heartbreak when I discovered that nearly ALL gum I had lined up in my Gum Review Queue had a suspect ingredient – Soy Lecithin. In fact, 99% of all gums have this ingredient in them. It’s been quite a challenge to find soy-free gums, and the Glee line is by far the most varied. That being said, beggars can’t be choosers. While it’s not the greatest gum in the world, for those with soy allergies, this is definitely a viable, chewable choice.
Rating: ooo (three gumballs)