Thursday, March 11, 2010
Smart Time Mild Chocolate Gum
There are two flavors which I've always found disappointing when they are used outside of their "proper" place. The first is cola. You can make lollipops, fizzy candies, etc. with cola flavor, but it's always flat and weird. Cola belongs in a carbonated beverage. The other flavor that is hard to transfer to unconventional places is chocolate, though it is certainly more flexible than cola.
When I bought this Smart Time Mild Chocolate gum, I was aware that I was flirting with potential disappointment. Chocolate isn't one of those things which tends to come across well in gum. Part of the reason for this is that gum has no fat, and chocolate foods usually have it. Part of the reason is that the texture of gum seems to exist in discord with the harmony of chocolate as a flavor, at least in my flavor world (of which I am the high queen as it's my blog and I'll rule if I want to).
The "Smart Time" line of gum, which is marketed under the Recaldent brand and made by Cadbury, is primarily designed to get women to chew gum rather than snack. That's why it's called "smart time". Smart women chew 3-calorie nibblets of gum rather than give in to the temptation to tuck into a drawer full of sweets. The liquid center is meant to offer the consumer a burst of satisfying flavor.
I found this gum for about 70 yen (78 cents) at Okashi no Machioka. Usually, a 9-piece pack of this gum is 100 yen ($1.11), so part of what made me decide to roll the dice was that I could sample on the cheap. Also, I've been chewing more gum lately as a way of eating less, and perhaps I can fool myself into thinking this 3.6 calorie per morsel gum is going to satisfy a chocolate craving.
The gum smells vaguely chocolate-like, and the first bite is a muted chocolate flavor mixed with coconut. Though there is no coconut in the gum according to the ingredients list, there is something called "butter oil" and that might be similar. It also contains cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and the artificial sweetener, Maltitol. The flavor is not quite what one would hope for if one were expecting a nice chocolate and the texture of gum after the burst of cocoa flavor feels disconcerting, but this is fairly good gum albeit a bit sweet.
If I was in need of some gum, this would certainly be a possible purchase for me in the future. That being said, this reminds me vaguely of a type of diet candy that my mother bought when I was a kid. This candy was little caramel-like blobs that women were supposed to eat to help suppress their appetite and tasted sweet, but a bit weird. This gum is a lot like that. It doesn't make it bad, just quite different.
The web site for Recaldent and Smart Time gum has an online coloring book where kids can color in the animated tooth mascot for these sugarless gums, Hamii-kun. If you have kids, or miss spending days with a box of Crayolas, it's here.