The memories are fairly vivid in spite of all the years. You'd tear open the long square package, take out one of the individually wrapped squares, unwrap it. Sometimes, if you were in a sadistic mood, you'd squeeze and smoosh the little gem before popping it in your mouth. On a regular day, you'd just let the teeth do the work and wait for that oddly sexual burst of sweet gel to be released from the center of that perfect, pastel, probably bad for you liquid-filled gum.
Of the big three favorites, Chewels, which claimed it created the liquid-filled gum market, were the best if you were looking for a robust, juicy, sugar-free smack. It seemed to have the most goo and substance. Tidal Wave was the cockiest -- promising an enormous wave of flavor and liquid that would overwhelm you with one bite (check out the video after the jump). The flavor wave was quality, but not awe-inspiring. Freshen-up gum was the puniest in terms of lasting taste.
Soda-flavored varieties jumped on board, with A&W proving to be one of the most memorable in early '80s skating rinks and theme parks nationwide. And then the bubble burst.
Center-filled gum's popularity didn't last too long -- perhaps it was harder to keep fresh for the standard gum shelflife? Nowadays, the only brands readily available are Freshen-up (the one with the worst tagline ever: "The gum that goes squirt") and Bubblicious Bursts, a knock-off introduced in the mid-aughts that comes in sour cherry and bubble gum flavors.
Granted, sour cherry and bubble gum are fantastic flavors, but Bursts give you sugar teeth and refuse to stay strong through a good chew. The freshening we get from the Freshen-ups lasts for seconds. So, we have two shoddy products that are really only consistently available on Amazon.
Sure, we're adults now and should probably move on to Freedent or something, (it does "moisten your mouth and freshen your breath") but why is it that horrific things like cookie cereal stay on the market for years and goo-filled gum only available in lesser quality with standard shipping rates?
It just bites.
Tidal Wave commercial:
Freshen-up commercial (clearly not the favorite, but the commercial is worthy):