On the growing list of things I do not look competent doing, gum chewing is right in between “throwing a football around with the guys” and dancing. After a marathon of John Woo films in college (Dolph Lundgren wasnâ€™t so bad in Blackjack, right?), I caught myself in the mirror chewing gum. Instead of that cool and casual look almost everyone has when they chew, I looked like a hamster with a bunch of sunflower seeds in my cheek. I donâ€™t hate gum chewing; I just hate myself chewing gum.
Having a pleasant breath is important to me. My job entails a lot of talking to an audience, a great deal of whining, some begging, a bit of folding my arms as if I am making a point and an uncomfortable amount of quiet farting. â€¦You know what I am talking about.
Speaking of unwanted odors, I am hyper aware of bad breath. I habitually pop Altoids in my mouth and avoid gum. I one time had a piece of Wrigleyâ€™s because I was out of mints and the result was at Hindenburg levels. I was just nibbling the gum which made me look like I had that “grinding teeth” problem and I ended up biting the side of mouth. The mint gave way to the copper taste of blood that my unforgiving teeth drew. That was the last time I can remember chewing gum.
As I was in the line of impatient customers waiting to check out at Target, I saw the usual suspects of candy bars and ultra-mint gums that promise refreshment that will give you icy cold breath that act like Mr. Freezeâ€™s ray gun. However something caught my eye. It wasnâ€™t that pack of Stride with Shaun White eerily staring and beckoning me to walk into oncoming traffic.
It was gum made by Mentos and I couldnâ€™t stop staring at the package because the name was so weird if not a bit annoying. UP2U gum by Mentos and the name was boldly stamped across the pack. The UP2U was in all caps and the name was so strange. It felt like I was reading those awful vanity plates on the road that say “B Kewl” or “IM Awz0m”. UP2UdamnU! UP2ME? Well then I had to try it since it was UP2WHATIWANTED2DO and NO1 can tell me what 2DO.
See what I mean? A bit annoying, L-O-L. L-M-F-A-O and all that jazz.
The package proclaims “2 Flavors. 1 Pack. You Decide.” Kind of like our electoral process donâ€™t ya think?
I felt compelled to try them since Iâ€™ve been a fan of Mentos from the early days of their odd Eurotrash-like commercials. Each package had two flavors, and there were two varieties so I had to try both of them, which is really four of them since, so I had to try all four of themâ€¦God, this is more complicated than string theory.
Okay, to simplify I bought the pink pack which had Sweet Mint and Bubble Fresh while the blue-green pack had Daylight Mint and Mintnight Mint. I believe there are other flavors but my Target only had these two.
I have to admit that the packaging is quite chic, albeit a bit pretentious. In fact it looks like a sleek compact minus the brush and makeup. They both open like a mini book where one flavor resides on each respective side. The pink one with Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh has a quote by poet John Millington Synge while Walt Whitman (it would be cool if they called him Walt Whitmint) greets me on the other one.
The effect is no different than cracking open a fortune cookie and scoffing at the supposed inspiration (i.e. “You have many friends” or “A man with a great heart is richer than the man with the great wallet”—pphht!). Itâ€™s chew time.
Mintnight Mint is not as minty nor as mintnighty as I would like. Itâ€™s a bit like that tiny bottle of no name hotel mouthwash that sits next to the shower cap. The mint tastes like timid spearmint but an unappealing rush of sugary sweetness overrides everything. Iâ€™ve smoked menthol cigarettes that had a stronger mint taste. Hell, the Girl Scoutsâ€™ Thin Mints cookies are more minty. The flavor also dissipates quicker than your average stick of mint gum. The name however, is amusing as I picture a vampire with fresh breath.
Daylight Mint, its resident brother has a weird texture. It was stiff not unlike those crappy sticks you would get from ripping open a pack of baseball cards and had a give like gummi bears. The mint was even less intense than the Mintnight one.
If you consume saltines or seltzer water, this mint will struggle to mask your breath. The mint tastes like the wintergreen variety but after the first few chews, this flavor goes away and again is replaced by that syrupy sugar taste. I wanted to spit this out immediately. Like Neil Tennant sang in Brit supergroup Electronic, “Dissapointed…”
Do not depend on the package containing Mintnight and Daylight mints to do anything to freshen your breath. Iâ€™m not sure what qualifies as a daytime or nighttime flavor but they should not be chewed anytime.
Bubble Fresh is an interesting flavor. It tastes like the usual bubblegum but there is a tang like those sour candies without the sourness if that makes any sense. I really liked this flavor as it was a good play on the ordinary bubblegum flavor we all know. It was not overly sweet and there is a bit of a mint that works well, hence the fresh part. The gum itself was a very soft chew which is nice. Both combined flavors lasted quite some time and the mint lingered for a while.
I recommend this one if you love mint but you want a new spin on the flavor. I would equate it like this: sometimes you just want a comfy old burger with that melty processed cheese but once in a while you want a burger topped with yummy Applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar and onion jam. By no means is Bubble Fresh as good as bacon but itâ€™s familiar in taste with a surprising twist.
Sweet Mint is funny in a good way. It is the least sweet of the four and the most intense in mint. The taste is very pleasant as the mint slowly builds in your mouth and then it fades into the sweetness. This is the important factor, the sweetness is not cloying or fake sugary like that weird aunt you hate. Additionally, the mint stays in your mouth and with each chew, it maintained a freshness in my breath.
I can recommend the Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh pack. The flavors are good, the mint stays with you and the package despite its snobbery, is fun. The Daylight/Mintnight is a fiasco and if it were UP2Uâ€¦I would avoid it.
(Nutritional Facts – 1 piece – less than 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 1 gram of sugar alcohols, and 0 grams of protein.)
Item: Mentos UP2U Gum (Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh and Daylight Mint/Mintnight Mint)
Price: $1.29 each
Size: 14 pieces per pack (7 pieces each per flavor)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh)
Rating: 2 out of 10 (Daylight Mint/Mintnight Mint)
Pros: Sweet Mint is a good mint gum thatâ€™s not really sweet. Bubble Fresh is indeed a fresh take on the mint gum. John Wooâ€™s Hard Boiled (Only the Cantonese version). Old Target commercials with the coolest indy songs. The packaging is admittedly cool.
Cons: Daylight and Mintnight mint gums are weak in the mint and taste department. The texture of Daylight is stiff. John Wooâ€™s Mission Impossible 2 (any version). Those old weird Mentos commercials. Vanity plates. Bad breath. I chewed all four together, that was a mistake.