Extra Dessert Delights – Root Beer Float

Flavor: The gum has a definite root beeriness to it, for sure.  There’s a slight bit of creaminess as well, but not as much as I’d expect if I were comparing it to an actual root beer float.  Granted it’s been a long time since I’ve had one, but if I recall correctly, the best part of a root beer float, to me, is those little crystals that form when the two entwine together.  Don’t confuse that for a “texture,” however… it’s definitely a taste I’m referring to.  It’s a delightfully carbonated sweet slushy cream that refreshes on a hot day as well as satisfies a sweet tooth.  This gum, which super-duper sugary sweet to the point where you marvel at how aspartame can taste so much like actual sugar, doesn’t have any of that refreshing quality at all.  I’d forgive them on it, but the Mint Chocolate Chip variety of the same gum illustrates my point very well.

Texture: This is my kinda texture.  For those that like a firmer, meatier chew, this gum is perfect.  It’s not sticky, it holds its shape very well, and it makes some fantastic pops and cracks.  If you’re a champion bubble blower, look elsewhere – this gum lacks that kind of elasticity.

Presentation: Nothing new here from Extra. They’ve found a groove with the Dessert Delights line, and they’re sticking to the simplicity of color-coordinated waves and an enticing photo of the delight.  It works.

Overall: Another fine showing from Extra here.  While some of the Dessert Delight flavors aren’t exactly my cup of tea, they are all fantastic representations of desserts.  While I can’t say that chewing a piece of this will quench a craving if I’m actually hankering for a bona fide Root Beer Float, it will soothe a raging sweet tooth and save a few hundred calories.

Rating: oooo (four 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)

Extra Dessert Delights Orange Crème Pop

Flavor : Summer is upon us (finally), and what says summer more than Orange Crème Pops? As a Jersey shore native, that orange cream flavor strikes a particularly nostalgic chord in me, harkening back to long summer days and dripping Kohr’s Custard cones and orange sodas. I was really excited when I heard the Dessert Delights line had extended its expertise to one of the most delicious of desserts, but I have to say I’m a little let down here. Mint Chocolate Chip was such a pleasant surprise, a long-lasting, actually satisfying low-calorie treat, that I really expected Orange Crème Pop to knock my socks off. At first I was like, “Whoa!” But then I was all, “Meh.” It starts out really strong, a tangy burst on the tip of your tongue and then a flood of creamy flavor, like that first bite into your ice pop before it starts to melt in the heat, but it instantly faded into a nutra-sweet-esque, dull orange flavor that actually grossed me out after a while. Not impressed.

Texture : The texture falls a little short, especially for Extra. It gets pretty tough very quickly, and the pieces seem smaller than other Extra varieties. Again, not impressed.

Presentation : The package is consistent with the other Dessert Delights, pretty simply showcasing the dessert it claims it represents. Not too much to report here, although I’m not sure I would associate actual orange slices with that delicious crème pop, it’s an entity unto itself.

Overall : It’s ok. I guess if you just want the flavor of the pop without the actual pop, go ahead and buy it, it’s worth a try. But personally, I’m going to get my butt down to the boardwalk and get me some swirly orange and cream custard in a waffle cone, with rainbow sprinkles. Mmmm…

Rating: ooo (three 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.

Trident Vitality Awaken

Taste: The box says “A peppy peppermint with a dash of ginseng,” and it’s a peppy peppermint, indeed. You get the initial blast of freshness you do with most pellet gums, especially those with a liquid center, and when the candy shell dissolves you’re left with a soft mint that’s easy on the taste buds and sinuses.

Texture: Sub-par. It starts off nice, with a tiny burst of goo in the middle, and then just goes downhill. It gets way too soft, way too fast. I suppose some might like this kind of softness, but it’s really stringy and sticky. There’ll be no cracking, snapping or popping with this gum.

Presentation: I don’t know what’s going on here. It’s your average pellet pack, placed inside a fancy-looking box. Why? It seems like overkill. It’s also kind of annoying. Traditionally, pellet packs are in cardboard sleeves, so you can push the pack out from one end so that it pops out the other. With this box, it’s only open on one end, so there’s nowhere to push the pellet pack out from. You have to either shake it, or get a little fingernail’s grip on the pack to pull it out. The whole thing seems really unnecessary, and kinda pretentious to me. The graphics themselves are nice, a metallic silver with a simple dew-speckled peppermint leaf, but I think it would have been just as effective on your standard pellet pack sleeve. (ETA: I found an article that said one of the purposes of the box was so that the pellet pack wouldn’t fall out. Has anyone ever had an issue with pellet packs falling out of their sleeves? I haven’t… and we all know how much gum I chew.)

Overall: Move over Extra Dessert Delights, Trident Vitality has caught the attention of the Gum World. Everyone’s talking about it. However, in the opinion of this Gum Girl, the “Latest and Greatest” falls short. In the interest of science, I popped a piece of “Awaken” on this fine Monday morning as I got into the car to drive to work, before drinking my coffee. I arrived at my job still as tired and dragging as I would any other Monday morning. It’s a Gum Gimmick, pure and simple. Much like Stride Shift, and 5 React, there’s really nothing special about Trident Vitality. They just like to make you think there is.

Rating: oo (two gumballs)

Orbit Wildberry Remix

Flavor : Sometimes, when gum emulates a flavor we experience elsewhere in the world, it’s a true delight. Chocolate chip mint ice cream, for example, or strawberry shortcake. But there are some flavors we don’t ever want to experience again, like, say, grape Children’s Chewable Tylenol. And that’s exactly what Orbit Wildberry Remix tastes like to me. When I first opened the package, I thought it smelled a little like grape Big League Chew, and I was excited for that first piece, but I quickly realized upon chewing that the scent I’d detected from my childhood was none other than grape Children’s Chewable Tylenol. I hated it then, and I hate it now. The smell is so overwhelming I may have to toss the rest of the pack. Who wants to be reminded of headaches and fevers? Not me.

Texture : I don’t want to chew this long enough to find out how the texture will hold up. It’s fine, I don’t know, I just want to get this lousy taste out of my mouth.

Presentation : The fashion packs are getting cooler, that’s for sure. There’s a contest on the inside of the flap for a chance to win something called “Orbit bucks.” When I investigated the contest, I was annoyed to find that it was yet another product culling contact information for a vague reward. “Bucks” are applied in the Orbit store, where you can buy lots of things, from gift cards to books to “dorm decor.” I guess if you’re an avid Orbit chewer, it’s nice, but it seems like a lot of steps that most folks won’t really take. Two ways to enter: 1. Take a picture of an illustration in the pack and text it to Orbit (and whatever happens after you do that). 2. Enter the secret password onto their website (after filling out a form with all your contact information). You then win a certain amount of bucks which can be applied to prizes, which are categorized according to type and value. Whatever happened to scratch and win? I just don’t think this is worth it. If you think I’m wrong– shoot us a comment and let us know what cool stuff you’ve bought with your Orbit bucks.

Overall : At least Chewable Tylenol cures headaches. This stuff gives me one.

Rating : o (one gumball)