Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lotte Frutio Gum

I've written before that I'm not a big consumer of gum, but that has since changed. I'm not sure why, but now I find myself subscribing to "Chewing Magazine" and wanting to walk around my neighborhood like a well-mannered cow working its cud. This image can be further enhanced by the fact that chewing sugar-free gum (especially that made with Xylitol) has some unfortunate side effects that may contribute to global warming. I realize that may provide an insanely sexy image for some of my male readers, but I hope the fact that I'm 46 will keep your hormones in check.

You'll note that at the top of the plastic canister with this gum, it says "Plus X". That isn't some secret ingredient. It's the flatulence-inducing Xylitol which is supposed to be good for teeth. We may all be going around leaving smelly vapor trails, but we won't have any cavities!

You can buy Frutio gum pretty much anywhere in Japan, though these larger plastic versions are usually only at supermarkets and snack shops. In convenience stores, you can generally get packs of individual flavors. I won't buy these plastic micro-buckets unless they're deeply discounted to about 399 yen ($4.76) or less. I got this one at Okashi no Machioka snack shop for that price, but I see these at markets for around 600 yen ($7.16) quite often.

There are three flavors and a pad of Post-it notepaper in the canister. The paper is to put your chewed gum in so that it won't stick to someone's shoe or the side of your trash can. The flavors are juicy lemon, juicy grape and juicy apple. Each has a nice candy shell surrounding its gum interior and all are so small that you'll likely need two pieces to feel you've got enough to work with.

The apple is the  most artificial tasting of the bunch, as is so commonly the case with green apple flavors. It's not bad, but definitely my least favorite. The lemon is the nicest with a good strong tang and somewhat authentic lemon flavor. The grape is pretty standard fake grape, but I liked it. The flavor lasted about 10 minutes tops on each of these, but that still puts them a cut above a lot of the gum in Japan.

The thing which makes me like Frutio (and I've bought it at least 3 times already) is that it isn't a mix of "mint" and fruit which is so often the case in Japan. The flavors are pure (fake) fruit rather than something which resembles toothpaste spread on a slice of fruit. Clearly, I'll buy this again, but only if it is on sale.

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