Chewing gum ought to taste good. Hardly any other food item on the planet stays in our mouths as long and while most of us don’t eat the stuff, we do depend on its flavor and breath-freshening abilities.
We take gum for granted these days but its history and place in our culture is fascinating. It’s become incredibly popular among pro athletes as a means of taking care of some nervous energy or as part of a larger superstition. As tobacco went in and out of fashion, gum was always right there as a healthier habit. It can lead to a better-tasting kiss, or be blown into a bubble just to hear it pop.
Historically, it’s believed that modern gum arrived in the states by way of the former president of Mexico, Santa Ana, in the 1860s. A chicle (the milky outer of a sarsaparilla tree) was delivered to New Yorker Thomas Adams as a possible rubber substitute. It failed on that account but worked wonderfully as a chewable candy of sorts, flavored with a wide variety of ingredients. Fast forward to today, where countless brands hock the stuff.
So, whether you’re trying to get rid of cigar smoke, mask a missed opportunity at brushing your teeth, or just need the oral fixation and jaw workout that a stick or two of gum provides, here are the ten best brands.
Sweetened with xylitol as opposed to sugar, this gum is better for your teeth and your general health. It sports a nice peppermint kick and flavor that doesn’t immediately start to fade.
Orbit has become wildly popular thanks to tidy packaging and refreshing flavor options (albeit often using artificial additives). There are some solid sugar-free riffs, too, like strawberry and freeze mint.
If you like minty gum without a bunch of side ingredients you can’t pronounce, Project 7 is your brand. The ingredients are natural and it’s preservative and aspartame-free.
Pur puts out one of the best cinnamon gums on the market (we love Big Red but the flavor extinguishes almost immediately). It’s also sweetened with xylitol, and offers a fiery kick.
If you’re after inventive flavors, pause here. Simply Gum is clearly having fun in the lab, whipping up options like ginger, maple, and grapefruit with prickly pear and cayenne.
What Eclipse lacks in terms of healthfulness it makes up for in long-lasting flavor and clever containers. The car cup is a touch of brilliance, ever-ready and just a reach away from the steering wheel as we quickly look to veil dinner breath during a commute.
Nope, it’s not good for you but sometimes you just want to revel in the candy side of the gum equation. Developed back in the 19th century in Ohio, Beemans still offers you that youthful feeling of old with every chew.
Trident commands a lot of credit in the gum realm mainly due to its conveniently sized strips and multitude of flavors. It’s hard to go wrong no matter what you’re in the mood for but the original flavor is arguably the best.
More medicinal than anything else, this brand focuses on gum that’s good for you and your choppers. Claiming to be supportive on your immune system, it features ingredients like elderberry and zinc.
Give in to your inner kid and enjoy a handful of these vintage square pieces of candy-sweet gum. It’s more about fun than flavor, like lighting up a pretend candy cigarette.
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