I am a huge fan of Archie McPhee. My bathroom is decorated with their matching sushi-themed shower curtain, rug, and trash can; I have their band-aids that look like Crime Scene tape, their toy gun that catapults pigs, their little squeaky monk who’s talking on the phone and drinking coffee…. But you’ll notice something all those items have in common: none of them are supposed to be eaten, or even, like this gum, just chewed.
So here’s the thing: I love the concepts of all of these gums just like I love the concepts of their other products. Gumballs that look like meatballs, wasabi gum – this stuff tickles me to death. But, here at Candy Addict, we are about actually eating things. So: are these just joke gifts, or would a person really want to eat them?
The most promising idea of the three seemed to me to be wasabi. Now, some of you laughed at me for being afraid of Pop Rocks in my Chuao Dark Chocolate Assortment article. But I am not afraid of wasabi. I love the stuff. And despite the unconventionality of this idea, I thought it might be good flavor for a gum. Like, candy can be hot-cinnamon flavored, so why not wasabi?
Well, I’m afraid that we still don’t know the answer to the question of whether that’s a good idea, because unfortunately, this gum didn’t taste much like wasabi. It’s a nice appropriate bright green color, and the first couple of chews have a kind of vague, aromatic hint of something vaguely reminiscent of wasabi. But the flavor pretty much disappears very quickly, and it’s never the least bit hot or spicy.
This was very disappointing, but on the bright side, it made the idea of trying the meatball gum less scary, since one really had to hope that it would taste no more like meatball than the wasabi tasted like wasabi. I mean, yeah, the fine print on the box does say ‘bubble gum flavored’ but, those Archie McPhee guys, they’re a bunch of jokers, you know?
But fortunately, indeed these did not taste like meatballs. It was the appearance that was a little disappointing – they’re not as bumpy as the picture on the website looks. But they are still a pretty good gag gift and, unlike the wasabi, one that you’d actually want to consume. They’re not bubble gum flavored in the way I would expect – not like that pink Bazooka flavor – but they’re sweet and vaguely artificial fruity in a perfectly pleasant way.
Now, after my experience with Bacon Salt over at Snackerrfic, I was not looking forward to the ‘artificial bacon flavor’ in the ingredients of the bacon gumballs. But I clicked around the Archie McPhee website and convinced myself that I should just be thankful I wasn’t trying the Bacon Jelly Beans, since I hate jelly beans. I hate gummies too, but the Gummy Bacon is strawberry flavored… OK, OK. I am just procrastinating. Here goes.
Ooooh no. When you unwrap the plastic you can already smell it. Do you think I could just spill it all on the floor and say I couldn’t review it? No, no, then the dogs would get it. OK….
Oh, this is even weird to look at. It’s a sickly dark pink color. It’s not perfectly round.
Also, it’s in kind of tough shape – the candy coating has come off big spots on a bunch of the pieces and there’s crumbs of it all over the bottom of the tin.
OK. I guess I really have to try it now.
Aw. Oh God. This is horrible. Bacon salt is a work of culinary genius, how did I not realize? It is so much better than this. Ugh. It’s not just artificial bacon, it’s also sweet, and sort of chemically. Aaargh.
I had to spit it out before all the flavor was gone. I even brushed my teeth but I couldn’t get rid of the aftertaste. I don’t have any mints in the house, so now I’m trying a Tums, and the combination of mint with fake chemical bacon is not really an improvement. Oh God. This is truly, truly vile. This is beyond the call of duty.
I had to get a second and third opinion, and people, it really is as bad as I say: Even the pugs didn’t want to eat this. They sniffed like crazy and tried little licks, but didn’t try to take it. Please note: There is nothing these dogs won’t eat, including stuff that’s, like, already been eaten and fully processed, if you get my drift? But they did not want to eat these.
In short: Meatball gumballs: edible. Wasabi gumballs: joke gift. Bacon gumballs: send them to your enemies in a package with no return address.