Archive for the 'mint' Category

5 gum

September 21st, 2007 by Rosa

As I wrote in an earlier post, I got quite the 5 gum package from Wrigley (BUY!) via BzzAgent. The BzzGuide booklet that came with it was far more elaborate that I expected. Some excerpts:

  • “Comes in stick form, which is the most popular.”
  • “Because of its distinct design, you can open the pack with just one hand…”
  • “Each flavor of 5 has a different set of ingredients referred to as ‘sensates.’… These flavor ingredients stimulate nerve endings in the mouth that signal to the brain that there’s a cooling, tingling, or warming feeling. It’s the same nerve that signals when there’s an actual temperature difference, so… a ‘sensate’ … fires the same nerve endings that triggers the perception of coolness.”
  • And my personal favorite: “Play RFC with friends… Rain puts out Flare, Flare melts Cobalt, and Cobalt freezes Rain. You can find it on 5gum.com…”

Goodness, Wrigley’s marketing people! Overkill much? You have to admit though, their marketing people sure earned their keep. And the packaging design is pretty slick. Apparently there are little 5s on the package that glow under black lights, and, sure enough, I can open it with just one hand. I also like the added touch of the embossed 5s on the foil wrapper. Snazzy all over!

To recap thus far, the packaging is cool, the names are corny, and the marketing is… thorough and eager. But how does it taste?

Pretty good. Not amazing, but serviceable. An OM, mostly because I’m a sucker for the package design. The flavor does last for a long time. A piece of Cobalt (peppermint) that I popped before lecture had about half an hour of flavor and over an hour of cooling ‘sensate’ power. Unfortunately, in the last half hour of just sensate, the gum got rather unbearable. Aside from continuing to make my mouth minty and cool, it was like any piece of Wrigley’s stick gum that’s lost its flavor – rubbery in taste and texture – which was distracting. Up until that point, though, it was decent gum, if not revelatory.

Flare (cinnamon) was not cinnamon-y enough for my taste, but it did earn bonus points for its long-lasting flavor and resilient heat ‘sensates.’ When I paid attention and sought it out, I did notice a little artificial sweetener aftertaste, but the flavor and ‘sensates’ are pretty effective at masking that unpleasantness.

Rain (spearmint) was surprising good. I don’t usually chew spearmint gum, but I’ve smelled it before, so I thought I had an idea of how it should taste. Rain was sweeter than I expected. It also had the weakest ‘sensates’ of the bunch. While the wrapper promised a tingling spearmint, I got more mint than tingle. Still, I enjoyed it and its lovely pale green color.

food-blog-pictures.jpg

While stick gum may be the most popular, I prefer smaller, softer pieces of gum like Orbit, which is also owned by Wrigley’s. When Orbit loses its flavor, it’s still soft and can still be texturally pleasing to chew. 5 got too stiff and yicky after extensive chewing.

Still, if you like stick gum or like looking trendy, 5 gum should be a good buy. Just pulling out the packaging will probably draw you attention. You’ll have to feel silly talking about ‘sensates’ and Flare, Cobalt, and Rain as flavors, but hey, it looks cool!

And you don’t even have to buy the gum to try it, as I am giving away a pack of Cobalt and a pack of Rain. I also have three Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons. Leave a comment here or in the previous 5 gum post with your email address (only I can see it) by tomorrow, September 22. If several people enter, I’ll do a drawing. If not so many people enter, everybody wins!

Category: gum, mint, OM, review, Wrigley's | 23 Comments »

3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate

August 27th, 2007 by Rosa

I remember buying regular 3 Musketeers bars (BUY) out of the vending machines in high school. I’d lift off the bottom layer of chocolate, eat that flat piece, and then scoop out the nougat center, leaving me with a nice chocolate trough. 3 Musketeers were never my favorite bar, as the milk chocolate and sweet chocolate nougat gets cloying quickly, but I enjoyed them from time to time.

food-blog-pictures-152.jpg

The 3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate is a new bar from Mars. I assume it’s intended to compete with the York Peppermint Pattie. Well, York, you’ve got nothing to worry about. The 3 Musketeers Mint is nice and inoffensive, but it’s also uninspiring and unsensational.

I like the way the bar is portion controlled. It’s narrower than the normal 3 Musketeers, and it comes in two pieces for some reason. Perhaps it made for a better chocolate/mint ratio. Either way, it’s nice to easily be able to eat a single bar and save or share the second. I also like that the bar is dark chocolate because I like dark chocolate.

food-blog-pictures-153.jpg

The bar smells sweetly of chocolate and lightly of mint. It’s a gorgeous bar, and the shiny and artfully swirled dark chocolate coating contrasts well with the fluffy and pristinely white mint nougat. The chocolate coating is fairly sweet, but not as stick-in-your-throat sweet as that of the regular 3 Musketeers. The mint nougat has the same texture as the chocolate nougat of the regular bar. The mint taste , like the smell, is not very strong, though it does have staying power. A few minutes after I finished the bar, I could still feel a light mintiness in the back of my throat. Like the bar itself, the lingering mint taste was neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

I prefer the strong peppermint kick of the York Peppermint Pattie. The 3 Musketeers Mint is subtle and therefore a little boring. I don’t think it’ll be able to hone in on the Peppermint Pattie’s domination of the chocolate-mint market. After all, the 3 Musketeers big marketing grab is that it’s lower in fat than most chocolate bars, but the York Peppermint Pattie is similarly “healthier”. The taste of the 3 Musketeers Mint alone is simply not enough of a draw for me. An O.

Category: chocolate, Mars, mint, nougat, O, review | 1 Comment »

Jocalat by Larabar

August 9th, 2007 by Rosa

According to Larabar’s website, these bars used to be called Maya bars. They’ve replaced the cocoa nibs in Maya bars with ground cocoa beans for a smoother texture and renamed the result. The Jocalat name sounds swankier (because we’re not sure how to pronounce it), and it lets Larabar use an accent breve (it’s amazing what I still remember from my high school French classes) to create a fancier looking logo.

food-blog-pictures-019.jpg

Jocalat bars (BUY) are made with organic and fair trade certified ingredients, usually some combination of organic dates, organic nuts, organic cocoa mass, organic cocoa powder, and organic flavoring. They’re gluten free, dairy free, soy free, kosher, vegan, and with no added sugar. Unlike regular Larabars, these are made from only 90% raw ingredients because the cocoa beans must be roasted, but that’s still impressive.

The bars come in chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate orange, and chocolate coffee. As an energy bar or meal replacement bar, they’re pretty good. I personaly prefer the texture of Clif Bars to Jocalat, but I do find the Jocalat bars much more palatable than Powerbars and Odwalla bars.

food-blog-pictures-021.jpgAll four bars are softy, chewy, and studded with nuts. The texture sort of resembles that of fudge, like a stiff puree with an extremely fine grain.

Chocolate - This bar is nuttier than the others, containing walnuts, almonds, and cashews in addition to dates. That’s according to the label, as I couldn’t distinguish between the different nuts as I was eating the bar. It smells deliciously of rich chocolate with a sweet and sour fruity overtone. While the Larabar website claims it to be as indulgent as a fudge brownie, I find that claim a stretch. Real fudge brownies are much better, but real fudge brownies are also full of sugar and butter and bad for you things. The Jocalat bars are fairly chocolate-y but not cloyingly sweet. Unfortunately, the Jocalat bar also has a bit of a sour aftertaste, possibly due to the dates. It’s not terribly unpleasant, but I could do without it.

Chocolate orange - The bar contains only dates and almonds and smells of a freshly peeled orange, and the taste of orange is definitely there. The sour aftertaste is less objectionable here, I think because orange is supposed to be sour.

Chocolate mint - This date and almond filled bar has a strong smell of peppermint, but it doesn’t taste as minty as it smells. The mint taste lingers a bit after the bar is swallowed, and it serves to completely hide the sour taste I found in the chocolate.

Chocolate coffee - According to the website, this bar has significantly more caffeine than the others. It smells sweetly of chocolate covered espresso beans. Tastewise, however, the coffee flavor is only barely detectable as a light aftertaste. In fact, if not for the coffee smell, it find it nearly indistinguishable from the regular chocolate bar. The chocolate coffee is also sweeter than the other bars, and that slight sour taste is pretty obvious.

Overall, I’m impressed that Larabar made something this tasty out of wholesome, mostly raw ingredients. I would recommend these if you’re on a vegan, raw food, gluten-free, or casein-free diet, and I know several parents of children with autism that may find these to be a valuable addition to the pantry and well worth the cost. As for me, I try to eat healthily, but I’m not health conscious to the point of spurning all processed foods. I’ll probably spend my money on deliciously bad for you candy bars instead.

Category: chocolate, coffee, fair trade, mint, not candy, nuts, OM, organic, review | 4 Comments »