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Back when I was a kid, the Meiji bubble gum came in these awesome plastic containers with little push-button dispensers on the top that would let the tiny bits of gum out a few at a time. These days, kids are stuck with cardboard boxes with salt-box type dispensers built in. No matter, they taste just as glorious as they did when I was a kid.

Ask yourself this: what's the best part of candy-coated gum? The candy, of course, and the way the crunchy shell gets pushed into the chewy elastic center. Meiji's hip to this and came up with bubble gum in pieces so small that it's almost all candy shell with just a bit of gum in the center, giving you the perfect excuse to down way more of the little guys than any healthy child or adult should.

They come in a variety of flavors, but my favorite is ramune, flavored after the Japanese soda of the same name.

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If variety is your game, then go for the Marukawa Bubble Gum variety pack. Strawberry, melon, orange, and grape each come in individual boxes sporting four balls of soft, chewy, fruit-flavored bubble gum with a thin candy shell.

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Don't feel like the kiddie stuff? Xylish is perhaps the most "adult" gum on the market. Of the two flavors we tried, Crystal Mint is the milder, while the black candy-coated Hyper Cool is strong enough that it not only clears your sinuses, but it also freshens the breath of anyone within a 500 meter radius. Really!

In fact, Hyper Cool reminds me a lot of the Japanese menthol eyedrops (you know, the ones that make your eyes feel like a newborn baby?).

More from the Japanese Snacks Series

Drink-Flavored Candy »
Chocolate »
Milk Candies »
Gummy Candies »
Toys and Candy »
Biscuity, Chocolatey Things »
Pocky and Pocky Impostors »

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