This month's WIRED, in their "What's Inside" section (which always is a little scary) looked at Orbit White Gum. Here are some highlights:
Maltitol- a mild sweeteners that is a sugar alcohol, aka polyols, and is typically derived from natural carbs. The good: None of the normal unnatural taste of calorie-free sweeteners. They don't cause spikes in blood-sugar level. And they won't rot your teeth. The bad and the ugly: Well, their slow intestinal absorption can cause bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Sorbitol - Another sugar alcohol. Do you have your pencil, calculator and abacus ready? A simple glucose molecule (C6H12O6) is broken apart and two extra hydrogen atoms are added (making C6H14O6). The result is about half as sweet as the original compound. Sorbitol can also be found in peaches, plums, and other fruit.
Gum Base - Apparently chewing gum used to be made from the sap of manilkara trees; now the chew often comes from styrene-butadiene, the same petrochemical used to make car tires. Yuck.
Glycerol - Yet another sugar alcohol. Glycerol is a clear, syrupy liquid, also used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Not to mention its ecofriendly. It is a byproduct of biodiesel production, so people are trying turn it into "green" antifreeze.
Aspartame - Ahhh, our old friend aspartame, we were wondering when you would appear. It is about 200 times more potent than sugar and is the calorie-free. A synthesis of two naturally occurring amino acids, it breaks down into small amounts of toxic chemicals like methanol and then formaldehyde in the body.
Acesulfame K - Yet ANOTHER calorie-free sweetener with a bitter aftertaste. Unlike aspartame, Ace K is totally artificial, so the body doesn't even try to metabolize it. Gee, that must be good for you then...
Sodium Bicarbonate - Baking soda, plain and simple. Just like when it is in your toothpaste, it helps clean and whiten your teeth.
'Hi-Technical Taste' is what you should expect from this caffeinated candy. Black Black is made by Lotte and is all the rage in Japan. Besides the caffeine, it also has Vitamin B-3, ginseng and oolong tea in it.
The title says it all. We've looked at Glee Tangerine, Bubblegum and Cinnamon. And today we broke into the Peppermint flavor. Just like the three flavors before, the initial bite and chew is awesome - a nice crackle. And the initial flavor is some of the best we've come across - no doubt because of the all-natural ingredients. But by the time you're really appreciating the flavor its going away.
We've been steadily making our way through all the flavors we can find of Glee Gum, today we're looking at the cinnamon flavor. We love the natural aspect of Glee. That dedication to natural ingredients shows in the flavor big time, and the cinnamon flavor is no different. It is not a biting cinnamon, it is not hot if that's what you're looking for. But it is very tasty. The crackle of the chicklet (which we love), gives way to a nice cool cinnamon flavor that is mild but full of flavor.
However...just like the tangerine and the bubblegum before it, the cinnamon's flavor rockets away. Sorry Glee, we want this to be one of our favorites, we don't have to have the flavor hang out forever. But we do want to enjoy our chewing experience, which right now isn't easy to do.
To put this in better perspective:
If you were driving a Porshe 911, and floored it from a dead stop, you'd be nearly out of flavor by the time you hit 60.
If you you were in the middle of asking Barack Obama a specific question about his policy positions, you'd be nearly out of flavor by the time he works "change" and/or "hope" into his response.
Or, if you're writing a blog post about Glee Gum, you'd have to down the whole 18-piece box in order to have enough access to the flavor to write about it.
Mentos Gum - is Perfetti Van Melle USA's second attempt in five years to crack the U.S. gum market - and they're going to spend $41 million this year to do it (Wrigley & Adams typically spend about $35 million for a new product introduction). Perhaps they are still stinging after discontinuing their last attempt, Mentos NewCharge. The gum will come in Spearmint, Red Fruit and Peppermint flavors.
Look for the ads to show up on Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and "American Top 40" with Ryan Seacrest - showcasing the tagline "New Mentos gum. It's Mouthwatering."
Honestly, I wasn't crazy about this flavor from Glee. I'm a purist at heart...so when I taste bubblegummy flavor (of which Glee's is very very tasty), I sort of want it to be attached to bubblegum, not chewing gum. I prefer my chewing gum to be minty or fruity. Personal thing...so I would simply sum it up by saying good flavor that I again wish lasted longer, and stickier than other Glee Gum I've sampled.
The box is brightly colored orange (tangerine I suppose), nicely designed, and sports a retro-looking cartoon guy who doesn't seem to have a torso.
What's cool about Glee in general? Among other things, they're organic and vegetarian. And they use rainforest chickle for their gum base. If you check out the ingredients, you'll notice a short list of flavors. And if you know much about Candy Snob, you know we believe the less ingredient, ultimately the better candy.
The gum pieces themselves are little squares, a little bigger than a Chicklet, and these are also orange in color. When you bite into a piece, the first thing you notice is the crunch of the shell, which appears to be thicker than most gum or this sort. From there, you get a bite across the sides of your tongue - when the real citrus flavor hits. And immediately following, a very brief coolness which is very, well, cool. The tangerine flavor is both genuine and natural tasting, but also distinct from its orange cousins. Often, its hard to tell the difference between orange and tangerine flavor. Not so with Glee.
In fairness, the one negative I would point out is that the flavor doesn't last very long at all - I popped 3 in my mouth at once, and the flavor was pretty much wiped out in 1-2 minutes. The upside to this, of course, is that you get to chew some more Glee Gum!
What could be better than a chewing gum with a name like Glee? That's right, not much. Which is why we're kicking off our week's worth of organic candy with them, to celebrate Earth Day. Glee Gum is an all natural chewing gum made with sustainably harvested rainforest chicle. There are five flavors: cinnamon, peppermint and tangerine, spearmint, and bubblegum.
BTW, the folks at Glee were kind enough to send Candy Snob all sorts of samples, so check back very soon for our reviews and comments.