Flavor: Some flavors in life stick with you long after a product has been discontinued or become unavailable. For example, my aunt had a glass candy jar on a shelf in her kitchen that had these raspberry hard candies in it. I have no idea what those candies were or where they came from, but the flavor of them is ingrained in my taste buds. I’ll never have those candies again, but I will never forget the taste. Such was the case with Carefree Original Bubble. This was my mom’s favorite gum. She always had packs of this in her purse, and I had never forgotten it. It’s the perfect classic bubblegum, exactly what you expect to taste when you chew. When our mom passed away a few years ago, I went on a hunt for Carefree Original Bubble for nostalgia’s sake, but it was nowhere to be found. Information on the internet was vague at best, but it hinted that the brand was discontinued. Disappointed, I resolved myself to the fact that I’d never taste Carefree again… until yesterday.
Texture: A thing of beauty. Smooth, soft and pliable – by far the best sugarfree bubble-blowing bubblegum out there. It doesn’t stick to your skin when you pop a bubble, doesn’t get too tough or too soft. Nothin’ but love. I do seem to remember a slight bit more grittiness in the original recipe, but I kind of think that’s because my mom used to buy this gum by the 18-pack and most of it was likely kind of stale by the time we chewed it.
Presentation: This is the best part of all. The gum is IN THE ORIGINAL PLEN-T-PAK. With the little red-plastic-ribbon-embedded pull tab and all. Oh, no… Carefree Original Bubble does not need the added square inches for flashy graphics, matte ribbed cardstock or bold, eye-catching fonts. 3 inches by 1 and one-quarter inch is all the space Carefree needs to proudly and simply display its logo. Like the flavor thing, I’d also resolved myself to the idea that I would never see a Plen-T-Pak ever again. How wrong I was. How very wrong, how very… happily wrong.
Overall: Traditionally, the best places to find new gum are Target and Wal-Mart. Yesterday I was in Wal-Mart, scouring the gum racks, and I came across a few new flavors of mentos, and was pretty psyched.
And then I saw it. Carefree. Original Bubble AND Peppermint. In the original Plen-T-Paks.
My elation was incalculable and uncontainable. I immediately texted Katie, “Sissy! Sissy! Carefree gum carefree gum is back zomg sissy sissy!!!!!”
As a true gum lover and connoisseur, there are very few things that can spark that kind of reaction. In fact, I can only think of one thing that could get me more excited than this. (A bunch of free gum from our “leftover basket” to the person that can tell me what that is in the comments below.) New gums are exciting, packaging changes are cool and fun… but this. This is epic.
Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)
(Addendum: Just writing “Carefree” in the title of this blog post and into the Tags made me giddy.)