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)

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 )

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)

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.

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)

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!)

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 )