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Gum Review: Search for Spearmint Mini-Roundup Part 1

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Gum,Mint Candy,Sugar-free Candy

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Spearmint Leaves

Spearmint leaves image from katrinket at Flickr

Some time ago, I bought a package of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum only to discover that the flavor had been changed dramatically. To put it mildly, the spearmint flavor I knew and loved had careened downhill and crashed into a muddy, mucky river. I wrote a review of it and a review of Wrigley’s other “improved” flavors. Since then I’ve been on a search to find a spearmint gum that matches my expectations of a good, mellow, sweet spearmint.

I’ve been slightly overwhelmed by the number of brands and varieties of spearmint-flavored gum. Without even looking very hard, I’ve found nine different varieties. Who knew spearmint could taste so many different ways? Trident alone makes three kinds of spearmint gum. It’s mind boggling.

It has been quite an adventure tasting all the varieties and thinking about the nuances in their differences and similarities. I’m feeling like quite the gum expert lately. And I have the freshest breath in the county.

Today I’ll tell you about five of the gums I’ve tried. To save your palate from overexertion, I’ll save the rest for another post.

Eclipse Spearmint GumEclipse by Wrigley – In a pack of Eclipse, you’ll get 12 little pieces of gum. The pieces measure only about 1/2″ by 3/4″ – they’re like little pellets. The initial feel when I begin to chew one is similar, almost identical, to those little square gums I used to get for a penny out of candy machines… right down to the “crunch” required to begin chewing. (Were those Chicklets or a cheap imitation?) After crunching it open, my mouth was immediately flooded with heat. An amazing surge of fire spread through my mouth and into my throat. Ahhh! Within 20 chews, I could feel the heat up my nose too. It’s very reminiscent of eating a peppermint Altoid. The first time I chewed Eclipse Spearmint, it was so hot, I had to spit it out in just a couple minutes. The second time I persevered through the heat, and surprisingly a little sweetness came out after a few minutes of chewing. The heat was still too much, though, so in the trash it went.

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes SpearmintIce Breakers Ice Cubes with cooling xylitol by The Hershey Co. – Ice Cubes are funny little square cubes – a shape I’ve never seen in any other gum. They require a little initial crunch to start chewing, nothing too jaw cracking though. Much to my dismay, they have lots of crunchy ‘crystals’ inside. Like I’ve said before, I don’t want my gum crunchy. The flavor, while decent, was gone unbelievably fast. I started chewing at 4:34 and all traces of flavor were gone by 4:52. No exaggeration. The Ice Breakers Ice Cubes box says “Whoa!â„¢”

I totally agree – Whoa! Where’d the flavor go?

Stride Spearmint GumStride by Cadbury – Stride comes in a thin, large rectangle package like all these new-fangled gums. (What was wrong with the little rectangle pack?) Remember on movies and television shows when a proud grandparent or new daddy flips out a long row of wallet photos to show any unsuspecting soul nearby? That’s what I thought of when I flipped open the Stride pack. The top flap “holding area” releases two gum-holding flaps. Each flap has seven little “bits” of gum, for 14 total pieces.

The bits (I can’t bring myself to call them sticks) are about the size I can remember Trident being when I was growing up. About 1/4″ by 1/2″. They are soft and easy to chew – a big plus as far as I’m concerned – and a sweet juice is released with the first chew. The flavor is very good, smooth and sweet… no heat whatsoever. It’s long lasting too. I’d say I chewed for at least an hour before the flavor started to fade. We have a winner here – I like Stride very much!

Extra Spearmint GumExtra by Wrigley – These ordinarily-shaped sticks of gum have a pale green color and the strange initial flavor that I’ve always associated with Extra brand gums. There’s an underlying sweetness that is pleasant, but it’s barely detectable under that unusual flavor that I can’t even give a name to. After quite a few chews, a bit of heat started to ooze out of the gum. Nothing major, nothing I can’t handle. Shortly after the heat came out, the sweet flavor was gone. Not a hint of it remained.

That weird flavor, though? Still there. After a while, I think I actually got used to it because the gum started to taste decent. Not so bad that I wanted to spit it out… but not so great that I want to go out and buy another pack. Sorry, Extra, get rid of that weird taste and we’ll talk.

Trident Xtra Care Spearmint GumTrident Xtra Care – Does anyone besides me think it’s strange that Trident markets three different versions of spearmint gum? It is even weirder that all three versions taste dramatically different? For today, I’ll tell you about Trident Xtra Care Spearmint, which for some reason isn’t listed on the Trident website. Only Peppermint and Cool Mint are listed, but I assure you that I have a lovely emerald green package of Spearmint in my hand – see the picture?

The Trident Xtra Care package flips open just like the Stride package, but the pieces of gum are larger. They are narrow ‘strips’ more than an inch long and about a quarter inch thick. They’re a little tough to start chewing – not crunchy at all, just tough. Immediately, though, a sweet flavor is released. It’s a mild spearmint flavor with plenty of sweetness and only a hint of warmth. In a way, it’s almost too sweet especially for the first few minutes of chewing. The flavor lasts a decent amount of time but not as long as other gums. Trident Xtra Care claims to “strengthen and rebuild teeth” – an interesting, if unusual, bonus to gum chewing.

There you have it – pellets, cubes, bits, sticks, and strips. Quite an array of gum variety. I figure anyone could find a spearmint they like in this list, but I’ve got four more to bring you next time.

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3 Responses to “Gum Review: Search for Spearmint Mini-Roundup Part 1”

  1. 1
    Rachel says:

    Ha, Stride gum is by far my favorite. I tend to chew for a really long time, so I appreciate the fact that after a few hours, it gets tougher and makes me want to spit it out, rather than disintegrating into grossness. Plus, I like the flavors.

  2. 2
    amy says:

    i prefer the good old, original trident spearmint. lasts long, good chewy consistency. perfect.

  3. 3
    Snoopielyn says:

    I totally agree with you on the new flavor of Wrigley’s spearmint gum. I also don’t like the hot mint or icy mint you find in so many gums now.
    In my search to find the perfect spearmint gum, my favorite thus far is Sweet Mint by Orbit. The flavor is as close to the old Wrigley’s spearmint as I have found, and the flavor lasts a good long time.

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