Flavor: This was the gum that broke me of my gum fast. I could not resist its juicy temptation. If you’re a regular Gum Alert reader (and why wouldn’t you be?) you will know that I have been on a soy-free diet because I’m currently nursing my 4-month old daughter, and she’s got some allergy issues. Recently I’ve been slowly adding back soy into my diet, and I saw this new Extra flavor on the shelf and I just had to pick it up. I did not make the wrong choice. This is the best fruit gum I’ve had in a long, long time. Super tangy at first bite, mellowing into a “sweet tropical” medley that last an extra, extra, extra long time.
Texture: This is what it’s all about. It starts off nice, and stays malleable, and perfectly tough. There is a brief interlude of borderline too-toughness, but it’s so brief that it’s barely noticeable. Most Fruit Sensations flavors will eventually soften and degrade until the wad is a thousand pieces of gag-inducing plasma balls that you’ll be coughing up for hours, but this one stays nice for the long haul. I’ve been chewing for about 15 minutes now, and there’s no sign of cohesion loss.
Presentation: It’s a pleasant teal blue color reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea, fading into large pictures of an orange, grapefruit and pineapple. Like Orbit Berry Red, the package boasts “TASTES LIKE REAL FRUIT.” I don’t know what the gum companies are thinking with this logic. It doesn’t taste like real fruit. Sucralose, Aspartame and the like will never taste like naturally-occurring Fructose no matter how they combine them. And truth be told, I think that chewers are okay with that, but I don’t think we’re okay with being misled.
Overall: I feel really bad for Extra, they’re like the bastard stepchild of gums. Extra is a really great gum, but they’re falling into the background of Orbit, Stride and Trident. It’s a damn shame, because Extra really does put out some great flavors, and Sweet Tropical is at the top of the list. I’m just afraid that it will fall by the wayside and be outshined and overlooked for a fancy new 5, or an old favorite. If you see this one on the checkout line, pick up a pack. You won’t be sorry. And if you are, just send the rest of the pack to me. I’ll get rid of it for you.Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)