There were quite a few things in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that I wanted to experience for myself when I was a kid. Not the chocolate waterfall (that chocolate looked extremely thin and watery â€“ not how I picture milk chocolate, mixed or notâ€¦ and the fact that a nasty little boy fell in it with his shoes on made the idea of eating any of it repellant). Certainly not the Psychedelic Nightmare Tunnel (a chicken got its head cut off! ITS HEAD!!). Nope, I wanted to try Wonkaâ€™s experimental sweetsâ€¦ and one of the samples provided to the unsuspecting boys and girls on the factory tour was that magical stick of gum, the one that mimicked a three-course dinner. I was always really jealous of Violet when she selfishly stuffed the three-course meal gum in her maw and described each course in detailâ€¦ that is, I was jealous until she changed into a giant blueberry. Not for me, thanks.
My point is that I no longer have to feel jealous, for Extra Dessert Delights has introduced their latest sugar-free addition, “Apple Pie” â€“ and it tastes like apple pie. Itâ€™s been mentioned before on this site that these new dessert- and cocktail-flavored chewing gums are creeping ever closer to Willy Wonka territory with their magical simulations of actual food. Itâ€™s pretty neat.
But that isnâ€™t to say itâ€™s not eerie. Like Wonka himself, the idea is a bitâ€¦ off.
When a couple of office pals and I sampled the gum, the consensus was that Dessert Delights Apple Pie was simultaneously gross and tasty; real-tasting and unnatural. I liked the gum a little better than they did, but we all agreed that cramming the intense flavor of apple pie into a stick of gum was bizarre. Did someone really think that it would be an adequate substitute for real apple pie? On the go, sure itâ€™s fineâ€¦ but I certainly wouldnâ€™t want to find myself at a friendâ€™s picnic, longing for dessert, only to be handed a stick of sugar-free gum. Iâ€™d kick my friend in the ass for pulling a stunt like that. But I digress.
The gum is light green, which would make you think of mint-flavored gum if it werenâ€™t for the overpowering aroma of cinnamon and (â€¦dare I say it? Yes, I dareâ€¦) buttery crust. I could smell that long before I could smell the slight scent of apples. Once I started chewing, the flavor exploded into a complex combination of Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, and sugar. It was definitely apple pie.
Unfortunately, the Apple Pie gum began to lose its softness and flavor rather quickly. Iâ€™m talking within seconds. It became tacky and stiff the longer I chewed, and the taste of apples and spices soon dissolved into a generic, artificial-apple-tinged sweetness that was just “blah.” I was disappointed that the flavor pretty much vanished altogether after just a few minutes of chewing.
Despite this, I guess itâ€™s nice to have a pack around for a quick chew if youâ€™re in the mood for something sweet at work or school and donâ€™t want to visit the vending machine for one of those trans-fat-tastic packaged apple fritter pastry thingies — you know, the ones with the waxy glaze that makes the plastic all shiny and oily. Why eat something like that and have it clog your arteries when you can get a similar flavor in a stick of gum that you can spit out after? Choices, people.
Like nearly every one of these flavored dessert gums, Extra Dessert Delights Apple Pie had a strong start and a weak finish. Though I held out much longer than my coworkers, I definitely reached the end of the line on that flavor train. At least I didnâ€™t turn into a giant green apple. Sure, Iâ€™d be able to leave work early, but I donâ€™t think I could fit in my car.
(Nutrition Facts â€“ 1 stick â€“ 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol and 0 grams of protein.)
Item:Â Extra Dessert Delights Apple Pie Gum
Size:Â 15 sticks per pack
Purchased at:Â Target
Rating:Â 6 out of 10
Pros: A fun new addition to Extra Dessert Delights variety. Approximates the flavor of apples, cinnamon and buttery crust rather well for a stick of gum. Nice alternative to greasy apple pie fritters in the vending machine. Leaving work early because you turned into a giant piece of fruit.
Cons: Flavor doesnâ€™t last very long. Watching chickens get their heads chopped off. Cramming the flavor of apple pie into a stick of gum is bizarre. Suffering a total body transformation on an all-expenses-paid factory tour as punishment for your selfishness and greed.