Friday, August 29, 2008

Orbit Raspberry Mint Gum

Orbit Raspberry Mint

I'm a big fan of raspberries. That fruity bite that only raspberries can give is just awesome. I even like the seeds.

This flavor of Orbit, while lacking that real raspberry bite, is pretty good. I remember liking it more in the past than I did this time around, but this is another fruit/mint fusion gum. The flavor is understated, but that's probably good, because going into Blue Raspberry Blow Pop territory would just be too much.

The texture is good; I didn't have any complaints about it being too hard or too soft. The flavor hung around a pretty long time, which is typical of Orbit, but it did lose its flavor before my jaw started to get tired from chewing.

This one might just barely make the top 5. Maybe it's number 6. I'll have to think about it.


Orbit Website

Orbit Citrusmint Gum


I have a confession - I have now tried all 16 available flavors of Orbit. Soon, I will rank them. But first, I want to review some of my forgotten favorites, like Citrusmint.

This is probably where my taste for fruity/minty gum came from. Orbit Citrusmint. It doesn't get much better for me (although this is not my #1 Orbit gum), but if you're not into the fruit/mint combo, stay away.

It has a nice juicy start, then loses its initial juiciness, but the flavor does return and I found myself getting sick of chewing gum before the flavor disappeared. It tastes like a sweet orange juice with just a hint of lemon and maybe a little grapefruit, and it kind of reminds me of that canned Donald Duck juice I used to drink when I was younger. The mint isn't too strong here, it's more of a mild cooling sensation.

The texture is good, maybe a little too firm, but not unpleasant. I think Orbit gum can be a little inconsistent from piece to piece, some being harder than others (although I've only had the weird softness with the Pomegranate). All in all, a great gum. Definitely top 5.


Orbit Website

Friday, August 22, 2008

Reese's S'mores


So this isn't really a real review, but I just wanted to share some classic summer eating. Before last weekend, I couldn't remember the last time I had s'mores, but it's been a while. I don't like marshmallows much, so I tend to avoid them. But every once in a while during the summer, I get the urge.

It had never occurred to me to put things other than chocolate bars into s'mores, but whoever thought of putting Reese's cups in them is my hero. The pictured s'more was delicious. My craving has been satisfied for this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lotte Crunky

Lotte Crunky

Long before I knew much of anything about Japan or Japanese culture (and before I went there), I was a fan of Engrish. I had heard of Crunky (probably a variation on crunchy) for a while, and when my sister presented me with one, I was kind of excited to finally try it.

I might have had too high of expectations. First, I left it by my oven for a week and unfortunately, one corner bloomed a little bit. I don't know if that affected the rest of the bar at all, but it just wasn't that good. Maybe I just forgot that I'm not a huge fan of Krackel or Nestle Crunch, but I think those taste better than Crunky.

Lotte Crunky

The little bits of puffed whatever tasted burnt, and I know some people like that taste (my mom), it's not my favorite. The chocolate was good enough, but Lotte's chocolate just isn't as good as Meiji's, especially since this isn't one of their premium offerings. Other than that, it was very bland overall. The crispy bits only added a little bit of texture, and I wish they added some flavor other than "mildly charred."

For the record, there are some Lotte offerings that I do really enjoy, such as Koala's March.


Lotte Website (Japanese)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Meiji Cheesecake Apollo

Cheesecake Apollo

I have a confession to make. I am not a huge fan of cheesecake. Oh sure, it's delicious, but it's so rich and filling that I just can't eat very much of it at a time. Plus, my lactose intolerance might factor into the equation. But I rarely choose cheesecake if there's an option. Here, Meiji has solved my problem - cheesecake chocolate. Hokkaido is famous for dairy products, and apparently, this cheesecake Apollo was inspired by the tastes of Hokkaido. It was made with 0.9% cheese powder, but I think I'll be OK without a Lactaid.

Cheesecake Apollo

The chocolate has that Meiji taste for sure, and the cheesecake-flavored white chocolate hits the mark pretty well. It's a little lemony to try to mimic that tangy sourness of cheesecake, and it mixes with the milk chocolate very well. The chocolate is smooth and silky, so this is definitely enjoyable.

It's not my favorite kind of Apollo, but it's nice to have something cheesecake flavored that's not as rich as the real deal. I would definitely buy this again, and all my friends who tried it seemed to really like it.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Glico Bacon and Cheese Pretz

Bacon and Cheese Pretz

Although I really loved the Melonpan Pretz from the Bakery Flat Style Pretz line, I gotta say, the Bacon and Cheese flavor didn't do it for me.

They smell like dog treats. Like weaker Beggin' Strips. The smell was definitely bacony, but it was preservative-laden as well. I didn't let that stop me of course, because I knew they had to taste better than they smelled.

Bacon and Cheese Pretz

They did taste better than they smelled, but it really wasn't enough to save them for me. That Pretz preserative taste was there and the aftertaste was one of those that you knew was going to hang around for a while. I'm not a huge fan of bacon-flavoring, so that was probably why I didn't like these.

I suppose it was supposed to be a savory taste, but the smell was so overpowering that the taste really didn't stand out at all. These weren't for me at all. I only had one stick and would not be likely to try this kind again.


Glico Website (Japanese)

Monday, August 11, 2008

100 Calorie Packs Oreo Thin Crisps

Oreo 100 Calorie Pack

I like 100 Calorie Packs. They are a little overpriced, but it's nice to have someone think of portion control for you. I was always curious about this Oreo pack, even though I'm not big on Oreo cookies. Normally, I stick to a safer shortbread or graham cracker, but I decided to go out on a limb and try them.

Oreo Thin Crisps

They definitely don't taste like Oreos. Oreos are all about the creamy center, which isn't even replicated here. Maybe a light frosting would have helped? I'm not sure. They were more like chocolate crackers, and they reminded me of chocolate Teddy Grahams, only not graham cracker-y. Seeing as I really like chocolate Teddy Grahams and am not huge on the creamy frosting, I didn't mind. They're not amazing or anything, but a decent snack.

Of course 100 Calorie Packs aren't going to make you lose a lot of weight or anything, but if you have trouble with portion control, these might help. If you're really craving Oreos, though, I don't think the Oreo thin crisps are gonna do it. They have other 100 Calorie Packs that are just smaller versions of normal cookies, like Keebler Fudge Stripes and Sandie's Shortbread, so those might be a better way to go.

In short, there's no way these are gonna kill a chocolate craving, but they aren't bad. If you're not dieting, I wouldn't bother. Chocolate Teddy Grahams are better (and cheaper) chocolate crackers, and if you do like Oreos, these aren't even close.


Nabisco Website

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meiji Strawberry Yan Yan

Meiji Strawberry YanYan

When my husband and I were getting dinner at a local Mediterranean deli, I was surprised to find Yan Yan next to the register for 99 cents. Well, my Meiji obsession would not let me ignore this, and we had to pick some up with dinner.

I remembered reading about it in Candy Blog, and it's a good thing, because Yan Yan contains cheese, and thanks to the review, I knew to grab a Lactaid. Interestingly, Cybele's 2006 review also mentions a gram of trans fat, which has since been removed.

Meiji Strawberry YanYan

The sticks were very cute, with little animal faces and phrases that sometimes applied to the animal on the stick but usually didn't (see above photo). The dip was shiny and smelled like strawberry cream cheese.

I wasn't really crazy about it, actually. I liked the cookie sticks, and I liked that the dip wasn't frosting sweet, but at the same time, I think I wish it was sweeter (I was surprised, too) and less rich. I suppose it's not really fair for me to rate something cheesy, as cheese and I do not get along. My husband really liked them, and he finished the Yan Yan in a couple days.

I'd still like to try vanilla and chocolate Yan Yan, and I hear there is/was a green tea version.


Meiji Website (Japanese)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews

Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews

I struggled mightily with the loss of the lemon Jolly Rancher. Never was there a better flavor. In any case, I just haven't been able to enjoy them as much since then. I'm not a huge fan of hard candy since it makes my teeth feel gross, so you'd think these fruit chews would be a good solution. I'll break down each flavor.

I'd like to mention first of all that the box my friend bought didn't have any Cherry in it, so I can't review that flavor. Way to go, packaging machine.

Blue Raspberry: There's nothing quite like that chemically enhanced raspberry taste. It reminds me of the Blue Raspberry Blow Pops I used to love as a child, nice and tart. However, and I'll have the same complaint for all of these, it was so grainy! Just like Air Heads taffy. I prefer a smoother chew, and the grainy, crumbly kind just isn't for me.

Green Apple: This one was sweeter than I was expecting, and it's a pretty good match for granny smith apples, but I wish it was more sour. Again, these things are too grainy!

Watermelon: This was my favorite of the three. Just like the watermelon Jolly Rancher, it was tart, juicy, and sour. I just couldn't get over the grainy texture!

I liked the small size of these, because with Laffy Taffy, I felt like there was just too much taffy in my mouth, but I wish these had a more Laffy Taffy-like smooth texture. I know a lot of people like Air Heads, so I'd recommend it to those people. In the meantime, I prefer the hard candy, but only once in a great while.

I'm still mad there was no cherry. And bring back lemon Jolly Ranchers.


Jolly Rancher Website

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Orbit Sangria Fresca Gum

Orbit Sangria Fresca

I know I said I wouldn't do another gum review for a while, but while cooking, I found this pack of Sangria Fresca in my cupboard and just couldn't resist. It literally came out of the woodwork. If you're curious, this was the 13th flavor of Orbit I tried.

This one smells and tastes like Kool-Aid. I can't really place the fruity flavors, but there's definitely citrus going on. I don't taste any wine, so I don't think it passes for Sangria, but it's still pretty tasty gum.

Orbit Sangria Fresca

The texture is good, but I'll admit I didn't chew it all the way, because I'm not keen on gum right now. Orbit gum is pretty dependable (except for that pomegranate) and I've had this before and remember it having a decent life (at least 10 minutes of flavor) and it never got soft and sticky.

It doesn't have a mint flavor, but it doesn't leave your moth feeling stale, so this one is pretty good. Better than Fabulous Fruitini, which was released at the same time.


Orbit Website

Orbit Fabulous Fruitini Gum

Fabulous Fruitini

In my quest to taste all current flavors of Orbit gum, I've come to my penultimate flavor. Although it's not the newest, I had just never gotten around to trying it. I figure the snack blog is a good enough excuse.

This time, it's Fabulous Fruitini. What fruit is it going to be? The smell is a little reminiscent of PEZ, but I wouldn't recommend smelling the whole box, it kind of smells like paint. Smell 1 stick. Unwrapped.

Fabulous Fruitini

The gum is quite tangy and juicy! I think I can taste pineapple and banana right off the bat, but I'm not really sure what other fruits are in play here. It kind of reminds me of Fruit Stripe gum, only without as much artificial color. Compared to other Orbit flavors, though, the flavor was gone kind of quickly, maybe only 5 minutes of good, juicy chewing. There is a slight background mint that keeps it from tasting stale, though, which is great.

The texture is similar to that of the Strawberry Mint: firm but not hard, smooth, and squeaky. I'd place this one in the bottom third in the Orbit deliciousness spectrum, where Lemon Lime is on the bottom and Citrusmint (or Raspberry Mint) is at the top.

Only Crystal Mint is left now. It might be a while, since I now have 4 packs of Orbit at home to chew, and my jaw is tired from all this gum reviewing. Not to mention I'm getting a little worried about what the sorbitol will do to me.


Orbit Website

Orbit Strawberry Mint Gum

Orbit Strawberry Mint

The Orbit gum reviews continue! Next, we have another limited edition flavor, Strawberry Mint. I will admit I have tried this one before (it was the 12th out of 16 I tried) but I just had to blog about it, because it's one of my favorites.

Orbit Strawberry Mint

The gum smells like strawberries. It might not be the most genuine strawberry smell, kind of like a Strawberry Shortcake doll might smell, but it's a good smell! The gum tastes great, too, it captures the sweetness and tartness of the perfect strawberry - not too sweet, not unripe, it's just delicious. There's a slight mintiness in the background, but it's not the main event. This one is right up there with Citrusmint and Raspberry Mint.

The flavor hung around for a pretty long time, maybe 15 to 20 minutes or so before just becoming minty. It's got a good, springy and smooth texture and it was making my teeth squeak. I know they're not really getting much cleaner, but it's a nice sound. I really wish this one wasn't limited edition! This is the epitome of fruity-mint, though, so I'd stay away if you aren't into that.


Orbit Website

Orbit Positively Pomegranate Gum

Positively Pomegranate

In my quest to try every flavor of Orbit gum, I've never had so much difficulty tracking down a flavor as I had with Positively Pomegranate. Once Amanda mentioned it in a comment on the Stride Sweet Berry review, I knew I had to try it. It was nowhere to be found at Target, Walgreens, or Kroger, and I couldn't even find it online! Finally, I found a mention on a blog of someone getting it at Wal-Mart. I don't really go there often; oddly enough, it's not conveniently located near my apartment. But I finally made it out to Wal-Mart and lo and behold, found the gum!

I wasn't expecting the box to be white, but I suppose a pomegranate color would have been too easily confused with Raspberry Mint. After the surprising box color, the second thing I noticed was that this gum packs a powerful scent. I could smell it through the plastic wrapper, and it was almost sickeningly sweet. This was very concerning. However, after removing the wrapper, I was relieved to find that the box smelled better, fruitier and less oppressive. In fact, the scent was almost a dead ringer for Bath & Body Works Midnight Pomegranate (floral notes included). I actually didn't try the gum right away, so it sat for about 30 minutes while I finished my tea. My whole apartment smells like this gum. This scent is strong.

Positively Pomegranate

The gum itself is a nice pale purple, although I was hoping for a darker color. The taste is actually pretty good! Fruity, tangy, and although it's been a long time since I've had a pomegranate, it tastes like Midnight Pomegranate smells (minus the floral notes), so I'm guessing that's good. There's no mint in here, so that's a plus if you're not a fruity/minty combo fan.

Once thing I didn't like was the texture. It's not very springy as gum goes. In fact, it's stickier, softer, and gooier than gum should be. It doesn't bounce back when you chew it. I don't know if that has to do with how they flavored it or what, but it is kind of disappointing. I'm not the only one who thinks so (1 2 3 4, etc.).

So, it doesn't top the list of Orbit gums I've tried, but it's not at the bottom either. I would have liked it more if it didn't scent my apartment and had a better texture.

Now, my Orbit count is up to 14/16 flavors tried.

C (because of the texture thing)

Orbit Website

Orbit Maui Melon Mint Gum

Orbit Maui Melon Mint

I think I've mentioned before that I love Orbit gum. Well, I was looking at the Wikipedia page for Orbit and discovered that, of the 16 existing flavors of Orbit gum in the US, I've tried 13. Not too shabby!

I also learned that Orbit was introduced in 1944 as the best Wrigley could do during rationing, reintroduced in 1977, and then again in 2001 (when I started chewing it, seeing as I wasn't born until the 1980s).

Orbit Maui Melon Mint

In this first of four Orbit reviews, I'll cover Maui Melon Mint. When you smell the gum, all you smell is Doublemint. I love Doublemint, though, so that's a perk for me! It actually takes a while for the melon flavor to kick in at all, and it's very subtle. If I didn't know it was melon gum, I'd think it was just mint. I'm guessing it's watermelon by the color of the box, but I do taste a little honeydew. Mostly, I taste Doublemint. It has a great texture, though, lots of bounce and firm without being hard.

So, if you're looking for a true melon gum, I guess I'd recommend the Ice Breakers Kiwi Watermelon over this, although this Orbit is actually more cooling for the mouth. I really wish this had more melon flavor. It does give you that "just brushed clean feeling" though.


Orbit Website

Friday, August 1, 2008

Extra Fruit Sensations Strawberry Banana

Extra Fruit Sensations

I don't know that it's fair for me to rate strawberry banana flavored things, because I'm just not keen on banana flavoring. Sometimes the strawberry mellows it out, and if it's very authentic, then I have no problems at all, because real strawberries and bananas actually taste great together.

This gum was not very authentic. The first taste has the strong tingle of cherry-flavored liquid medicine, and I really want to call it Cherry Pepto Bismal or a cherry throat lozenge with a liquid center. It's not strawberry or banana. In any case, it's a tangy red flavor. I guess at least it was a strong flavor, though it's not really a plus here. Once that dies down, it's got that stale, rotting banana taste of Bubbleyum chewed too long.

Don't slip on the wrapper!

This gum was not sensational. Two other friends tried it and neither went wild, but I know some people like the taste of cherry medicine. If not, pass on this one.


Extra Website

Ice Breakers Spearmint Ice Cubes

Ice Cubes Spearmint

Well, I finally tried a kind of Ice Cubes that was "Whoa!" worthy, but not in a good way. This gum was so minty, a flavor crystal got lodged in my throat and it burned. Not a pleasant sensation. I'll have very nice breath, though, so I suppose it has that going for it. Aside from that, I found the spearmint to just be too sweet. I'm sure it's the artificial sweeteners doing it, but it reminded me of green Starlite mints, and I wish it didn't.

Again, my complaint is the same: these packs seem like a rip-off. Also, I'm partial to fruity/minty combo gum, so maybe I'm being too harsh.


Ice Breakers Website

Ice Breakers Strawberry Smoothie Ice Cubes

Ice Cubes Strawberry Smoothie

A friend of mine got a 2 for 1 deal on this gum, so I keep trying different kinds. Nothing has wowed me yet, and although the flavors are good, I'm holding a grudge because 10 pieces is not enough. Am I paying for the shape? And why is the word "Whoa!" on the box, getting my expectations unreasonably high?

Actually, this one was pretty good. These had a really nice creamy strawberry flavor, but it didn't hang around that long. After the cooling was gone, I felt like most of the strawberry flavor was gone (unlike Kiwi Watermelon), but it wasn't unpleasant to chew or stale-tasting.

So nothing to get excited about, but not at the bottom of the list, either. I really need some kind of rating system.


Ice Breakers Website