Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Plus X Cube Citrus Soda Mint Gum
Lotte looked at gum and decided that it was time to bring it into the future. While most gums are in sticks or in little Chicklet-style rounded bricks, Lotte decided that a more sophisticated form would enhance the chewing experience. They have delivered gum in cube form. I'm sure that it got an exclusive in "Chewing" magazine when it was first introduced.
The "Cube" line of gum has been around for awhile, but I've ignored it mainly because most of the flavors haven't really tickled my fancy. This is mainly because they are pairings of citrus flavors with mint and I'm not a fan of things like "muscat mint", "cherry mint", and "apricot mint." When I was searching for gum to keep my throat moist during the dry winter in Tokyo, I came across this citrus soda mint with the hopes that the "mint" element wouldn't be too much to bear.
Besides being, cube-shaped, this gum is also very unusual because the pieces aren't individually wrapped. There are just 10 cubes tossed into the box. The odd thing is that there is a small pad of Post-It notes tucked into the flap under the top of the box. I'm not sure what the office supplies are for, but I suspect that they may be for wrapping up your used gum. Or, perhaps the notion of a "cube" extends to the "cubicle" and therefore relates to working. I rather doubt this though since most Japanese people work in what is called an "open office plan" and do not have partitions between their work spaces. They all just sit next to and across from each other.
The gum has a slightly crunchy exterior and hits you with a burst of "soda" (ramune) and lemony citrus flavor as you bite into the cube. This makes the gum seem sugary, but it's actually made with artificial sweeteners (including Sucralose). The pieces are quite small so some people may feel better chewing two at once. The mint element of it is fairly subdued but discernible. The initial strong flavor goes away at about the same time as the granular, gritty portion of the exterior starts to fade away and the flavor steadily mellows and fades away. I'd say the flavor lasts for about 10 minutes of chewing.
This is by far my favorite gum in Japan because I love the texture. The crunchy outside is very satisfying. It's almost like eating a piece of candy at first. I actually sampled one of the other flavors, apricot mint, because I was so pleased with the texture of this one, but the flavor combination really didn't do it for me. I hope that Lotte puts out more flavor variations, preferably some without mint. For now though, I'm more than happy to buy this again when I'm in need of gum.