Trident Layers Orchard Peach + Ripe Mango

Flavor : If you thought Trident Tropical Twist was outrageous, just wait until you get your hands on this. We’re rounding out the summer here, folks, and just today I enjoyed one of the last delicious peaches of the season here in Jersey. It was tangy, sweet, round with that peachy flavor that takes over your whole being during the duration of your snack. It’s been a while since I’ve have a mango, and I’m pretty sure those are out of season already, or well on their way. But boy, does this gum make me feel comfortable about the long, peach-and-mango-less winter ahead. Upon first bite, it knocks your socks off, just like that first sloppy bite of a juicy peach. Then comes the mango, as if it actually were a mango sandwich on two pieces of peach bread, aromatic and vibrant. It fades of course, but the lingering flavor is sweet and cool and enjoyable for a good long while. The summer can’t last forever, but this flavor sure can.

Texture : This is a really meaty chew, much more substantial than your usual stick of Trident. It has a fantastic bite, not too soft, not too hard, a really well constructed piece of gum.

Presentation : Oh, man, just look at that mango sandwich, so simple, so decadent, so ripe and delicate. This packaging, as Shannon mentioned in her review of Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime, is simple and sophisticated.

Overall : I know what you’re thinking: “If you love Trident Layers Orchard Peach + Ripe Mango so much, why don’t you marry it?” Maybe I will. It’s too early into our relationship to tell. But I do know that tomorrow at lunch I’m picking up a freaking mango, slicing it up and slapping it between two halves of a peach at 4:00 snack time. Only a real mango sandwich could rival this gum.

Rating : ooooo (five gumballs )

Trident Layers Sweet Cherry + Island Lime

Flavor: A long time ago, a friend of Gum Alert sent us an email asking us about cherry flavored sugarless gums. At the time, there was really nothing to turn to. The only one I could recall, in fact, was a really disgusting mentholated Eclipse concoction that was downright offensive to the taste buds. Lack of a great cherry (like grape, as I mentioned in my review of 5 React 2 – Fruit) left a gaping hole in the sugarless gum world. Well, gum gurus and cherry lovers alike can rejoice! Trident has changed the game with this one. I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Layers line as a whole, but this new one is fantastic. The lime burst you get from what I assume is the candy goo layer starts off pleasantly strong and fades as you chew, leaving the awesome cherry to shine on and on. It rivals the Bubblicious cubes in cherryness and the flavor has decent longevity. Really nice.

Texture: Slightly tough and sticky at first, the chew mellows to a pleasant malleability. It’s easy to spread on the tongue to pop and crack. It does get a teensy bit too soft for my taste, but it might be just fine for you.

Presentation: Trident Layers’s packaging is cute and clever, with an admirable minimalistic style. Besides the Trident logo and text, the only graphic on the package is a cherry being sliced into by a juicy lime wedge. Gets the point across without any unnecessary obnoxious color, holographic fonts, or neon bursts.

Overall: As I said, I’ve not been much of a fan of Trident Layers. This one has made me a believer.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Stride Shaun White Whitemint

Flavor : In the interest of being fair and thorough here, I’m going to save all my Shaun White commentary for the presentation portion of this review. Let’s pretend this gum didn’t have a weird CGI image of a pro snowboarder on the cover, and talk about what we’re really buying here– the gum. It’s super refreshing and cool, with a slight hint of sweet in the bite. I’ve got to say, though, that I personally can’t get past this new chemical taste that all Stride gums have these days. It leaves this weird film on my tongue, and something in there reminds me of what I imagine Noxema to taste like. I will say, though, that Stride has been putting out some nasty flavors lately and this one isn’t that bad.

Texture : Very good, long lasting chew. Texture has never been Stride’s weakness.

Presentation : Could it be that this is the first athlete representing a gum? I don’t recall whether or not Big League Chew ever actually claimed a real life baseball player as their hollywood representative, but at least that would have sort of… made sense. Big League Chew looks like chewing tobacco. Who chews chewing tobacco? Baseball players. Natural sponsorship. Stride Whitemint is… well, white. And cold, sort of like snow. But so are lots of gums, right? Why doesn’t Shaun White represent Dentyne Ice? Or Mentos (the freshmaker)? I could picture him in a mentos commercial… in fact, I would love to see that dude in a mentos commercial. He’s just about the coolest guy that ever set board on a half pipe; there’s no denying that Shaun White deserves to make lots of money selling product, that much is clear.

But what is going on here, Stride? It’s like they didn’t even try to stitch some kind of connection between sponsor and product. “Oh hey, we got Shaun White. What should we call it, Shaun White Gum? No no no. I’ve got it. Whitemint. That’s clever.” So they’re going simple, I’ll buy that. But they’re not going simple. Printed on the inside of the package is a cartoon that places Shaun White in some kind of competition with a ram. I quote, “It’s on! Man versus Ram. One a competitive animal with freakish strength that loves to be scratched. The other has horns. Together in a fierce competition to see who is the best spokesman… or spokesanimal!” Um. Well. At least they didn’t call this gum “Ram-mint.”

Overall : A swing and a miss… I guess? I just don’t know what to think here. I feel sort of like I’m missing some inside joke (which I very well might be) that Shaun White has with the rest of the world. If you know the secret, please comment (but try not to make me look old or dumb). If not, I’ve got to say that of all celebrities, this is one for whom Stride actually could pull off a half-baked weirdo marketing plan. Throw a bunch of ideas in the air, string some loose (very loose) connection between him and the product and that makes it ok to permit a ram to tell a “your mom” joke on your packaging. You read that correctly. You’ll have to buy a pack to find out the punch line. (Spoiler alert! It’s your mom. )

Rating : ooo (three gumballs)

Extra Dessert Delights Apple Pie

Flavor: Picture a warm slice of apple pie. The first bite is a mouthful of tart, juicy apple, spiked with cinnamon. The crust is creamy and sweet, and the flavors blend together in harmonious bliss. There’s just something about apple pie that’s comforting, calming. A kind of warm cinnamon happiness. You guys? This gum tastes like apple pie. Like, for serious apple pie. I don’t know how they replicated that familiar flavor with chemicals, artificial sweetener and gum base, but that flavor chemist deserves a serious raise. It’s delicious.

Texture: A little on the tougher side when it comes to chew, but definitely well within chewability limits and nowhere near tough enough to tarnish enjoyment of the gum.

Presentation : Similar graphics as the rest of the Dessert Delights line, with autumn-y colors: burgundy, brown, orange and cream. A nice slice of apple pie graces the pack. Nothing flashy, nothing crazy… Extra lets the gum itself do all the work, as it should be.

Overall: This gum is BANGIN’. Now, this gum is not made to be an every day chewer. It’s not going to freshen your breath – if anything, you’ll need to pop a piece of your mint of choice afterwards to kill the cinnamon from this one. This gum is marketed as an “indulgence” to satisfy your sweet tooth in times of dire craving. And I gotta say, this really does. Go pick up some of this one – now.

Rating: ooooo (five gumballs)

Mentos Squeeze Strawberry

Flavor : The flavor here is reminiscent of the pink pellets in fruity Mentos packs, which is a pleasant surprise, especially since I can eat as many as I want and not worry about a sugar rush. The flavor lasts about as long as you can chew and swallow a Mentos candy, however, and quickly stales to a dull berry flavor.

Texture : Ok, so here’s the thing, the gimmick here is that in the center of this gum is “99% real fruit filling.” Why, that sounds delicious! Look at that delightful strawberry just BURSTING with juicy strawberry filling! I imagined that this imagery would mirror the forthcoming burst of juice I’d enjoy while biting into the gum pellet. But wait… what the… is that POWDER grinding between my teeth? I immediately had to bite another piece in half to inspect. Had this batch gone bad? Was it sitting on the shelf too long and had dried out? Alas, no. This was an intentional powdered fruit filling, like pulverized freeze-dried strawberries, the kind you rehydrate with milk in Special K. There’s not enough time to rehydrate this powder with saliva before I’m just chewing on a straight up powder, though. It just doesn’t work.

Presentation : False advertising, bro. Not cool. Or at least misleading… I’m not sure many other brands will mimic this gimmick.

Overall : Correct me if I’m wrong, but I just think this is stuff is nasty, and now I have a big ol’ plastic tub of it to get rid of. Looks like I’ll be putting this out with the rest of the gum on my desk on work for public consumption. This one ought to spark some conversation, anyway.

Rating : o (one gumball)