Monday, October 31, 2011

Teenage Dream: Extra Dessert Delights

Did you know that teenagers love gum? Did you know that for a teenager, a pack of gum is like a secret weapon – if you pull out a pack of gum at school, not only will you have more friends than you can count, but a stick of gum can be traded for all sorts of wonderful things; paper, pencils, even entire lunches, according to my 13-year-old, who swears she doesn't know this information first hand.

(Yes, it's true that gum-chewing is against school rules, but – surprise! - ALL teenagers do it anyway. They also have friends on Facebook they've never met in person, say they don't have homework when they do, and occasionally pretend they didn't get your text.)

But yes, GUM. I can't go through the grocery checkout without both my teenagers throwing a couple of packs into my cart, and the choosing of the gum is a complex process in itself, requiring great concentration and thought. I let them take their time while I catch up with my tabloid reading, hoping they make a choice by the time the cashier starts ringing up my groceries. A few months ago they found this:

How crazy is that? A gum that tastes exactly like Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream! Apparently just crazy enough that it became my teens' favorite, and pretty popular with their friends, too. Word has it that just one stick of these bad boys was worth TWO lunches.

Then I happened to get asked to try out some new Extra Dessert Delights flavors, and my teens jumped at the chance. Personally, I'm more of an old-school spearmint fan, so I turned over the tasting to my girls. That's right, I ASKED them to chew more gum. Here are their thoughts:

Root Beer Float – Hands down my teens' favorite. Didn't hurt that they all love root beer floats - and who doesn't? A couple of the 13-year-old's friends tried it, and they too agreed it was the best - really tasted like an actual root beer float! I wonder how it would taste with french fries?

Bananas Foster – Right off the bat they all remarked that the gum had an odd smell, and I had to agree. They couldn't get past that, and didn't care much for the gum. I'm thinking it might go over better if it was tweaked to taste like a Banana Split instead. Or maybe take a cue from Elvis and make a Banana-Peanut-Butter-Sandwich gum? Maybe not.
Lemon Square - Their second favorite flavor, and I liked this one too. As I mentioned, I'm more of a spearmint fan, but this was the only one out of the three that wasn't overly sweet. I think a lemon-flavored gum is a natural fit – sort of a refreshing citrus taste to clear your palate.

The final verdict? They'll definitely be picking up a pack of Extra Dessert Delights Root Beer Float gum when it hits the shelves, although chances are they wouldn't turn down any of the flavors if it was offered to them during history class – after all, we're talking about GUM. Now if only I could get them to answer my texts during lunch.

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And guess what? Only ONE of these flavors will be produced in 2012, and you can help decide which one by voting. So do your civic duty, even if it is only for gum by clicking here and casting your vote. (Vote for Root Beer Float. This biased message was paid for by teenagers who chew a lot of gum.)

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