When Roald Dahl featured chewing gum that tasted like a three-course meal in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, marketing executives took note. The spectrum of chewing gum flavors has broadened tenfold since the book's publication, sometimes not for the better. Here are five flavors readily available at your local grocery or drug store that absolutely baffle me.
5. "Nonstop Mint" (Stride). So, the mint keeps going and going and going and going? That's sort of scary. I mean, I'm all for long-lasting flavor, but at some point I need to stop chewing that piece of gum and I don't want to feel bad about "wasting" a piece because it still tastes good. I also don't want to masticate to death.
4. "Fire" (Dentyne). Dentyne's slogan is "Practice Safe Breath Everywhere," yet last time I checked, breathing fire is quite dangerous (which is why dragons are not popular at parties). Yeah, I know they're looking for a descriptor that conveys the intense cinnamon flavor -- why not then the more straightforward and less fear-inspiring "spicy cinnamon"?
3. "Electric Watermelon" (Wrigley's). I'm pretty sure "electric watermelon" is a euphemism for something, and I'm even more sure it's something I don't want associated with chewing gum. Putting that objection aside, I'm also confused as to how a watermelon becomes "electric." The combination of a current and a fruit composed largely of water seems dangerous rather than delicious: a recipe for electrocution?
2. "Apple Pineapple Layers" (Trident). An autumnal mild fruit such as the apple isn't the first thing I'd pair with a super-sweet tropical fruit such as the pineapple, but apparently Trident is game to force this awkward partnership. Even weirder, however, is that the flavors are "layered" in a green apple and golden pineapple sandwich.
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1. "Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream" (Wrigley's). Ice cream...chocolate...gum...wah? Wrigley's entire line of "Dessert Delights" is offensive, but the most egregious member is the "mint chocolate chip ice cream flavor." Anyone who's binged on candy knows that chocolate and chewing gum do NOT mix, and I'm scared to think about what Wrigley's is using as a cocoa substitute. Furthermore, if you're craving a cold chocolate minty treat, I doubt a warm chewy confection will really satisfy.