Gum Flavored Like High-Calorie Desserts

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Sugarfree Gum

Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights Sugarfree Gum

I Paid: 99 cents per 15-stick package (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 3 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

Every marketer is seemingly searching for the zero- or near-zero-calorie dessert, and Extra Dessert Delights is a Willy Wonka–ish spin on the endeavor: dessert in the form of gum.

Tasty-looking packaging aside, this is a mission doomed to fail from the outset. Smell and texture are (at minimum!) 50 percent of the food experience, and gum, by necessity, will be driven by extracts and artificial flavors, and chances are you won't be encountering even a speck of real strawberry.

A sampling of two of the three available Dessert Delights flavors suggested profoundly mixed results. Mint Chocolate Chip gum may strike you as a bad idea—and you'd be right. The chocolate note tasted odd, flat, and characterless, evoking a restaurant hospitality mint with Hershey's Syrup splashed over it. There was a bit of "ice cream" creaminess to this flavor, but it was drowned out by a blast of mint.

Strawberry Shortcake, by contrast, was actually quite pleasant. You could taste something like rich cream, and the fruit flavor was a halfway compromise between artificial strawberry and the real deal. For the dessert-starved dieter, these gums are unlikely to be the answer, but the Strawberry Shortcake variety may at least take the edge off.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.