You guys, I don’t think you realize how much this gum is bumming me out.

“Melodramatic”? What? You are clearly not grasping how sucktastic it is that Extra Dessert Delights exists in America and in the solar system. Consider this evidence:

Exhibit A: Its slogan cheerily proclaims that you can “Have your dessert and chew it too!” FML.

Exhibit B: The commercial features a dude who’s so jazzed about the Strawberry Shortcake flavor that he wipes a whiteboard with his ass.

Exhibit C: It is gum you are supposed to eat INSTEAD of dessert. Instead! No dessert! Just gum!

That’s right, this magical new confection comes in 3 flavors—Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Shortcake and Key Lime Pie— and is based on that old-as-time dieting trick for the ladyfolk: when you think you’re getting hungry, just chew a piece of sugarfree gum instead of eating! It’s so easy!

Extra is billing this shiz as if it’s the Sarah Palin of chewable sweets: all of the sex appeal of rich desserts but with none of the actual caloric substance. Nom a stick of Dessert Delights and start laughing at your friend Chubs McGee over there who can’t resist “eating food” and is scarfing down cheesecake, which she might as well be spackling on her thighs. Laugh! Here, put on this bikini and then continue laughing!

So, duh, pie-replacing gum sounds pretty abysmal, like it belongs in George Orwell’s dystopian take on “Sex and the City.” I mean, have you ever TASTED the awesomeness that is pie?

But ladies, we don’t have a choice here. Do we want to turn into fat blimps who will never get married because we’ve downed one too many peach cobblers a la mode and no one can roll us down the aisle? No, we must soldier on with this gum. And, since I am passionately devoted to the free purveyance of gum-formation, I masticated my way through all of the Extra Dessert Delights flavors in the name of journalism. My Pulitzer no doubt awaits.

Even better, unlike most hard-hitting investigative reporters, I will grant you a secret glimpse into how I procured my sources: I strode purposefully into a midtown Duane Reade.

Spotting all three flavors languishing on the candy shelf, I grabbed each one and headed to the register. The cashier looked at me, her eyes brimming with pity, like she could tell I was going home alone to scarf all three packs of gum for dinner while petting my 8 cats and crying. She asked me if I wanted to redeem my account’s $5 coupon. Did I ever! FREE GUM! Those Maine Coons aren’t buying Fancy Feast for themselves. I shuffled home with my spinster plastic bag full of free sadness.

First observations: This stuff is not packaged like the edgy and cool, crunchy-shell hipster gum like Dentyne Pure, that you punch out, and not even in pudgy and irreverent little tabs like Orbit. Nope, it’s served up in thin foil-wrapped strips a la Juicy Fruit, ultra 90’s style. It is the 4 Non Blondes of gum packaging, and I said, hey, ugly gum, what’s going on.

Nutrition facts time! Shockingly, all of these selections contain “artificial flavors.” What, there’s no all-natural “mint chocolate chip ice cream extract?” You’re killing me, Extra.

First up is in fact Mint Chocolate Chip, and let me tell you, this stuff is PUNGENT. Seriously, the pack is sitting on my nightstand as I write this, and it’s wafting aroma waves of minty barfitude in my direction at regular intervals.

When I first popped the gum, it wasn’t bad. It started off with a minty topnote, and then a hint of chocolate started to awaken. It was like the first bite of a Thin Mint: fresh, sweet, satisfying.

And then, everything went to hell. Once the sweetness starts to settle in, the gum becomes this cloying, rubbery confluence of yuck, like a pencil eraser that’s been marinated in aspartame.

Mint Chocolate Chip verdict: A big helping of mint chocolate NO.

Before I move on, here is a fun gum-related anecdote about me: A couple years ago, Stride held a $5000 grand prize contest to name their newest flavor of gum, which they said was “minty” and “long-lasting,” i.e., identical to every other gum ever. Since I was in grad school and looking for ways to distract myself from THAT, I entered this contest with Herculean levels of determination. I think I spammed with like 50 different name suggestions, the best of which, I thought, was “Over-AchieveMINT.” Get it? Because it’s long-lasting? I told you I went to grad school. So, I patiently tracked the contest until Stride finally made this bullshit announcement that a “technical glitch” on their website had “lost” all the contest entries. Whatever, Stride. I’ll tell you where you can put your still-anonymous gum now, you cheap bastards.

Ok, back to the Dessert Whatever. Next flavor: Hey, this Strawberry Shortcake packaging is pink. Pink candy is always the tastiest flavor, right? QED.

Uh, wrong. This flavor tries too hard. If it had just stuck to strawberry, which is an iconic candy genre, it would have been fine. But instead, the creepy “shortcake” vanilla-y taste lingered around desperately seeking approval from my tastebuds, like it was Charlie Sheen and my mouth was people who already stopped caring about Charlie Sheen.

Strawberry Shortcake verdict: Gum? More like GLUM.

At this point, I sort of wanted to barf, but then I remembered I had to last through one more flavor.

Finally, we’re up to Key Lime Pie. Now, I grew up in Florida, so I feel like my inner key lime pie-ometer is acutely well-honed. So, you should just trust me when I say this gum tastes not at all like key lime pie, and a lot like moldy Sprite with a death wish.

Key Lime Pie verdict: I think you mean Key LAME Pie.

CONCLUSION: This gum is neither dessert nor delightful. Extra, you should rename this shiz “Dessert, for People Who Like Having Their Day Ruined.” Don’t let the man get you down! Also, go eat some real pie.