REVIEW: Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum

Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum

Are you the one who wished that a fish-shaped gummy named after a Scandinavian country would be transformed into a piece of gum?

Zoltar says: your wish is granted.

While I am not sure which species of fish the original gummies are meant to mimic (Salmon? Halibut? An artistic rendering of Basking Sharks?), I’ve always admired the fish-shaped chewable candies for their sweet and tart tang, so to find them in gum form ruffled me with confusion, hesitation, and impossible joy at the possibility of such greatness.

Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum 2

The berry gets a massive double layer, while a teeny bit of lemon smooshes itself in the middle. That ratio of flavor distribution comes out immediately in the gum’s taste.

If there was a Seismic Scale of Flavor Intensity, the Lemon of this gum would get a .004. Its lemony, citrus twang just disappears at first chew. Where did you go, Lemon Flavor? Are you jealous that Berry got two layers? Jealousy isn’t good for relationships, Lemon. Haven’t you heard about Brutus and Caesar? The first two Godfathers? That crazy witch in Snow White? Jealousy only brings knives, poison apples, and horse heads in your bed. Don’t let jealousy happen to you, Lemon.

But on the note of vague feelings of injustice, it seems there has never been an official word on Swedish Fish’s actual “berry” flavor, and yet my anxiety and rapidly expanding fear of the unknown seemed fixated on finding the answer. Is it raspberry? Cranberry? Lingonberry? Sour cherry? Berry punch? Is there a professional horticulturalist with a highly refined palate on the blog?

Whatever identity that berry beholds, it presides over the entire chewing experience. I chewed for a solid 30 minutes, enjoying its non-rubbery berry tang that’s both tart and sweet. There was a slight bitterness that came in every now and again (I’m a little sensitive to red dye, so it may have been that), but the overall sugary-tartness made this chewing experience an enjoyably long-lasting one.

But I feel I should give you a warning. This gum lasts very long. So very, very long. Even after you have disposed of your little red knob of rubber, brushed your teeth, and gargled a glug of Spearmint Scope, the berry presence continues to linger somewhere in the back of your throat, which may result in it infiltrating everything you eat. Your tomato soup. Your tuna salad. Your medium-rare bacon cheeseburger. All of them, getting overthrown by a peculiar artificial berry tang.

Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum 3

But, on the whole, I enjoyed this gum. Like a dentist reaching into the jaws of a wild boar just to see if it has teeth, Trident took a risk, and all in the hopes of seeing if they could transform an iconic gummy into a piece of gum. It was dangerous. It was spontaneous. It was successful. Facing such a risk is admirable in its own right. To have it come out successfully? Earns it big points.

Sure, the lemon got lost and the berry flavor comes across as bitter and overpowering at times, but there’s no question that Trident went all-out with flavor authenticity. I will chew my Swedish Fish gum again. Perhaps while staring at Swedish furniture in IKEA after eating some Swedish meatballs.*

*Thank you, Sweden, for being great.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – less than 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Trident Layers Swedish Fish Gum
Purchased Price: $1.49 (single pack)
Size: 14 pieces
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes just like berry Swedish Fish. Flavor lasts forever. Tangy. Soft and chewy. Stays non-rubbery for a good 30 minutes. Zoltar. Basking Sharks.
Cons: Makes cheeseburgers taste like Swedish Fish. Lemon flavor gets jilted. Not shaped like a fish. What is the berry flavor?? Poison apples. Horse heads in your bed.

REVIEW: Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum

Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum

Over the past ten days, I’ve been trying to make Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum smell like vomit. I imagine two thoughts are popping up in your head right now. Why? And why don’t you just vomit on them to make them smell like vomit?

Why am I doing this? I’m doing it because a number of folks have left comments with our original post about the gum saying the Cherry flavor smells like vomit. I should note there’s also a strawberry flavor, but there haven’t been complaints about it smelling like puke.

So over the past ten days I’ve had this pack of gum either in my pocket or desk drawer, trying to bring out its worst. I even slept with it, hoping my body heat trapped under a blanket would activate something. But I have yet to be successful and the gum continues to smell like Cherry Starburst.

So far I’ve gone through nine of the 15 red sticks in the pack. And after chewing those sticks made of sorbitol, gum base, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, natural and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, malic acid, citric acid, mannitol, sucralose, acesulfame K, fumaric acid, red 40, red 40 lake, aspartame, and BHT, I think Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum is great…for a few fleeting moments.

Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum Closeup

The first couple of chews don’t remind me of Cherry Starburst, but by the third, it has that familiar candy flavor. I’m amazed this gum’s flavor is spot on. It’s like I’m chewing on a softer Cherry Starburst, and I want to swallow it.

But I don’t because all that wonderful flavor is gone within two minutes, and my desire to swallow it is replaced by the urge to spit it out. It goes from flavorful to flavorless in an amount of time I’ve only experienced with Fruit Stripe gum. The gum loses it’s flavor so quickly that I think it takes me longer to eat an actual Cherry Starburst candy.

While this gum tastes like Cherry Starburst, its short lasting flavor and the possibility of it smelling like barf will stop me from buying another pack.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 stick – 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: Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Cherry Starburst Gum
Purchased Price: $1.12
Size: 15 sticks/pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Even though it’s sugar-free, it tastes like Cherry Starburst. Soft chew.
Cons: Flavor doesn’t last very long. Might smell like vomit. Sleeping with gum.

REVIEW: Wrigley’s Extra Seasonal Edition and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gums

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum

In the land of guar gum and sucralose, where the pumpkins and gourds lie…

Two brands.
Many layers.
One flavor to rule them all.

Yes, it’s Pumpkin Spice Season, and, in the legion of opportunities to build up your pumpkin spice endurance, Extra and Trident are throwing themselves in the sumo circle to see which can make the product with just enough squash, just enough cinnamon, just enough grit, to transform a dessert of caramelized orange vegetables into a new and potentially terrifying medium.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum Trident-Extra face-off

With enough tire tread marks to wrap around a Ford F-150, the Extra pieces serve up a classic, slim look. The Layers, on the other hand, are the prodigy of pudgy, 3-dimensional nubbins, the Tetris blocks of a former life, if you will.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum Trident Tetris!

And, much like Tetris blocks, there is no pumpkin in either gum. No pumpkin at all. But a chewer still gets many of the sensations that a pumpkin-spiced treat might bring (sweetness, warmth, cinnamon spice). The Extra smooshes the sugar-and-spice sweetness in one bite, with an emphasis on the sweet coming together to taste something like a strongly cinnamon-spiced sugar cookie (or, more accurately, a cinnamon-spiced Juicy Fruit).

There aren’t any squash notes, but there is a strong emphasis on caramelized sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and fruity clove. It’s hyper-sweet and the spice fills me with Christmas optimism, and, as we all know, it’s so easy to accomplish stuff when filled with Christmas optimism. I even cleaned my house thanks to Extra gum.

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum This clean house is brought to you by Extra gum

On the other end of the spectrum is the Trident, which has all the looks and smells of a Yankee Candle store in October, combining the familiar spices of cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of sweetness. I have my hopes up, but as I start to chew…

Remember that scene in Return of the Jedi? Where Jabba’s henchmen are sucked into the maw of a gaping sandpit, wherein they are chewed and ddigested? That is how I felt while chewing the Trident: it starts off super sweet, but then eeks out into an amalgamation of popcorn, plastic, Halls cough drops, and those name-brand white jelly beans.

The spice is equivalent to gnawing on a basket of potpourri and, in a mere 47 seconds (47 SECONDS!), the gum got tough as the girders of Scottish gentlemen. Unless you have recently lost your sense of taste or have a particular nostalgia for gnawing on Goodyear Tires baked in a vat nutmeg, I’d recommend putting your pumpkin pie money elsewhere.

The Extra on the other hand? It had a solid 3-5 minute run before losing flavor, and even then, it had a soft chew and spice that stayed. Is it the sorbital? The soy lechithin? The Acesulfame-K? I dunno, but I do know that Acesulfame-K is almost as fun to say as “Stoichiometric ratio” or, “nuclear binary fission.” Thankfully, Acesulfame is not as intense or damaging to your internal organs as nuclear binary fission. Yay for not chewing nuclear radiation!

Wrigley's Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum and Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum The winner and grand champion

When I was 8 years old, I decided I’d be a Detroit Lions quarterback. As a 4.5-foot, 65-pound human who couldn’t get past the third rung on the climbing rope, I knew this was unlikely, but certainly not impossible, so I tried anyway.

Similarly, the concept of creating a gum that mimics pumpkin pie is far-reaching, but not ludicrous, and Extra did a respectable job here. While neither match the pie experience to the “–nth” degree, Extra takes a notable lead over Trident with its longer chew time and greater sense of roundedness in flavor, but just know that, like a 4.5-foot, 65-pound 8-year-old pretending to be an NFL quarterback, it still can’t quite replace the real thing.

(Nutrition Facts – Extra – less than 5 calorie, 0 calories from fat, 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. Trident – 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 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: Wrigley’s Extra Seasonal Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 1 pack/15 pieces
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Fruity clove. Nice vanilla balance. Lasts for about 3-5 minutes. Christmas optimism. Detroit Lions.
Cons: No pumpkin in ingredients. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the Trident. After 3-5 minutes, gets rubbery. Nuclear radiation.

Item: Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Gum
Purchased Price: $2.80
Size: 3 packs (14 pieces each)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Pretty to look at. Tetris. Girders of Scottish gentlemen. Reason to talk about Return of the Jedi.
Cons: No pumpkin in ingredients. Like chewing a mix of cinnamon-spiced plastic, popcorn, and stale jellybeans. Gets tough after 47-seconds. Being chewed by a sandpit.

REVIEW: Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum

Remember that time you went to the mall and passed the Cinnabon sample tray? The one with the Dixie Cups? And the warm, goopy Minibons? And you took a sample? Then you took another? Then you took 10 more? Then you got dismissed for exceeding your sample limit? (“There’s a sample limit???”) Then you stomped away? And came back 15 minutes later with a fake mustache? And presumed a new identity while shoveling more Minibons down as you made a convincing argument to the fifteen-year-old employee that your voice was undergoing great strain after reconstructive surgery?

Like that time Charlie Buckets drank the Fizzy Lifting Drinks and nearly got shredded by a giant fan, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And, perhaps, for that one moment, when you got a bite of the half-baked middle, the cinnamon butter goo, the crunchity glaze, it was worth it because let us remember: this is not just any hunk of bread. This is a cinnamon roll: a warm, messy blob of cinnamon-sugar gloopity gloop and enough confectioner’s sugar to make The League of Evil Dentists cheer for all the money they’ll make filling your cavities. And yet, for each roll you have, there’s only so much chewing before it’s gone, having been chomped by your molars into the dark oblivion that is digestion. So what’s a cinnamon bun addict to do with such conundrums and deep-cut cravings?

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum Looking at that dashing piece of taupe

One gum. To cure them all.

As I learned from Yosemite Sam, power comes in many sizes, be it in an 19-inch-tall cowboy with a booshily beard and anger management issues or a 2-inch strip of taupe gum, and, indeed, this particular piece of Cinnamon Roll gum reinforces this lesson. The chew here starts out a little tough, then softens out for a good 17-20 minutes before gamboling into rubber tire territory.

But it’s a very tasty tire.

If this flavor were a superhero, it would be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in a tutu. It starts off with a cooling, hyper sweetness (the tutu), then swipes at you from the shadows (like a Ninja Turtle) with a backdrop of… is that toasted caramel?? Yes, yes it is! Why, I dare say there’s even a little nuttiness as if there were a hint of toasted pecans in there.

The cinnamon doesn’t hit it out too heavily, coming in as a warm afterthought rather than a spicy kick, but that’s the genius. It allows the warm, zingy, slightly fruity/vanilla-y hints of the caramel and cinnamon to remind you of the doughy sensation you sought in the Cinnabon originals while the cooling effects of aspartame mimic that cooling sensation brought on by a caramel-sugar glaze. Nice attention to detail, Extra.

While lacking the fresh-baked, poofy texture of the true baked good, the end result here does come out tasting modestly like a cinnamon roll (but more like a caramel sticky bun) with a gentle warmth, slight sweetness, and joyous aroma all in a portable resealable cardboard square.

In a world in which Cinnabon prices are going up, all my baking pans are dirtied, and I am too lazy to pull out the Dawn Dish Soap (even if it does have aloe vera for silky smooth skin…), it’s nice to know that I can fill my cinnamon roll addiction without fear of having to take on new identities at the Cinnabon sample tray (I’m running out of disguises…). Is it deception that makes it tastes more like a caramel roll than a cinnamon roll? Perhaps, but it sure is a tasty, tasty deception.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – 5 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of sugar alcohol, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights Cinnamon Roll Gum
Purchased Price: $1.19
Size: 1 pack/15 pieces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Soft chew. Sweet toasted caramel flavor. Hint of pecan flavor. Hyper sweetness from aspartame mimics glaze. Portable. Tasty deception. Ninja Turtles in tutus. Justifies procrastination of washing dishes.
Cons: Not a warm, poofy pastry. Could use more cinnamon. Some may feel betrayed that it tastes more like a caramel sticky bun than cinnamon roll. Desperate attempts to procure free Cinnabons. Cowboys with anger management issues. Being shredded by a giant fan. The League of Evil Dentists.

REVIEW: Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch Bubble Gum

Wrigley's Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch Bubble Gum

Oh, Walgreens, can you forgive me?

Sometimes I forget about you. Despite your stale sushi, your overpriced aisles of Degree deodorant, you mitigate your pitfalls by offering a “Make your own Slushie” machine available 24 hours a day and providing me with batteries and Snuggies before hurricanes. Indeed, Walgreens, I am in debt to you.

And today, on the cusp of summer, my debt racks up as you have taken your greatness one step further by giving me a brand new gum.

Wrigley's Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch Bubble Gum Unwrapped

Ahh, artificial fruit punch flavoring. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…no no, never mind. There are far too many ways. Having unwrapped my first cube of this Hawaiian Punch imitator, I’m greeted with a dashing little nub that smells of fruit punch, summer camp, and days by the pool, where I glugged enough Hawaiian Punch to make my belly burst (Why does chlorine make artificial fruit punch taste so good? A neurological connection? A molecular link between chlorine and sucrose? Me + Sugar=Duh?)

I go in for the chew and, BLAM-O, I’m smacked 1952-comic-book style with a concentrated Hawaiian Punch flavor. It starts out with a distinct sweet/tart cherry/berry flavor with a hint of bitterness from Red 40. That teensy bitterness gets mitigated with a pineapple tang and a hint of orange and apple that swings in at the end, all making for a rounded Hawaiian Punch experience without the need of a cup holder or threat of spillage on to those white fluffy towels you just pulled out of the dryer (Because everyone drinks Hawaiian Punch in the laundry room?).

It’s not natural fruit punch by any means, but when did Hawaiian Punch promise real fruit juice? That’d be like asking a Wooly Mammoth to construct a warehouse of IKEA furniture, and that’s just not fair: Wooly Mammoths don’t have opposable thumbs.

Wrigley's Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch Bubble Gum Sucrose+red dye=yum

There’s an episode of Dexter’s Lab where Dexter, boy genius, makes himself expandably stretchy by smooshing his molecules with those of chewing gum (season 2, episode 19 for those following along). I imagine he used this gum. Like most Hubba Bubba specimens chewed in the past, each cube starts out small and then expands in your mouth, becoming a sticky, stretchy, tacky tangle. It isn’t until 12 minutes later, when the flavor’s far gone and you’ve gnawed it into a soft, flavorless glob of gum base, that you realize just what an experience it was. This is the stuff of bubble World Records, the terrifying goo that sticks to the bottom of shoes and stretches for miles. This is Bubble Gum. (Notice capital letters. Serious stuff.)

In a world of hyper-vigilant dentists and grumpity orthodontists putting braces on every human with a mouth and a molar, sugar mavens are oft deprived of a tasty, sugar-filled gum to chew their days away, so it’s refreshing to find a gum that’s tasty, good for bubbles, and, by Georgey-Porgy, filled with real, refined sugar. Hubba Bubba is amending said conundrum. With a pleasant chew, sugary grit, and enough artificial red dye to repair the New Jersey freeway, Hubba Bubba’s taken the taste of summer and smooshed it into a little 1×1 inch cube. If that’s not a summer miracle, I don’t know what is.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 piece – 25 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Hubba Bubba Hawaiian Punch Bubble Gum
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 1 pack/5 pieces
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Concentrated artificial fruit punch flavor. Soft n’ stretchy. Mysteriously seems to expand in one’s mouth. Real sugar defying angry dentists. 24-hour Slushie machines. Reasons to watch re-runs of Dexter’s Lab.
Cons: Not for those with a distaste for artificial fruit punch flavor. Sugar in gum may cause cavities. Some may be sensitive to bitterness of red dye flavor. Grumpity orthodontists. Wooly Mammoths don’t have opposable thumbs. The repairs of the New Jersey freeway. Realizing said freeway will never be repaired. Never.