As a blog writer, I enjoy incredible perks. A platform for writing whatever I want. An excuse to watch even more tennis than I otherwise would. Free tennis gear that companies want me to review.
Yeah, that last one hasn’t happened yet. (Hey, Nike! Send me some free stuff and I promise to can the snark about your Smurf clothes!)
While I wait for the swag to start rolling in, I’ll review cheap stuff I can afford to buy myself, starting with Maria Sharapova’s candy line, Sugarpova.
For those who like to save the world while they snack, a portion of every purchase of Sugarpova candy goes toward “helping children across the world achieve their dreams.” As mission statements go, that’s pretty vague and uninspiring. Fortunately for me, altruism is way down on my list of criteria for food.
My first criterion–possibly my only criterion–is taste. So let’s proceed to the taste-test results for two Sugarpova products: Sporty and Flirty. (At least I think those are the names. Or are the names “The Taste of Victory” and “Lips Like Sugar”? Am I the only one who finds the packaging confusing?)
How cute are these tennis ball-shaped gumballs? They’d make excellent stocking stuffers or hostess gifts for a tennis team party. (Okay, I guess I have a second food criterion: appearance.)
Before ordering Sugarpova Sporty, I read some Amazon customer reviews that panned the gumballs as too hard, so I bit into my piece with caution. No problems on that score, so perhaps those Amazon reviewers got a bad batch. Or maybe Serena spent her maternity leave posting anonymous reviews.
A few chews later, the flavor kicked in. It reminded me strongly of Fruit Stripes gum. In grad school, I had a minor obsession with Fruit Stripes, and my boyfriend (now husband) used to leave packs of it in my mailbox at school. It made me so happy to see that brightly colored pack shining amid all the drab department mail.
I go through periodic phases of food mania. Fruit Stripes. Orange soda. Right now I’m in a curious Minute Rice phase–not a stir-fry, mind you, just a plain old bowl of white Minute Rice. (I’m not proud of this.)
A food phase can last months, but when it’s over, it’s over. And sadly, I’m over Fruit Stripes.
Even if I weren’t, Sporty’s flavor vanishes after five minutes. At that point you might as well be chewing a Post-It. It may be unfair to knock Sugarpova Sporty for its fleeting flavor, since most fruity gum suffers from this problem. But it certainly doesn’t go in the plus column, especially when a 5-ounce bag costs $9.
I enlisted my husband and daughter in my taste test. Neither were impressed, with my daughter even declining to chew her piece for its full five-minute lifespan. On a scale of 1-10, Sporty scored an average of 4.7. (Despite the score, it really would make a fun gift.)
After trying the gum, I knew what the final line for my blog post would be: Maria, don’t quit your day job. Not very original, but still an excellent way to end the review.
Unfortunately, her Flirty candy forced me to rethink things. These multi-colored lip-shaped treats are surprisingly good! Like Gummi Bears on steroids, the Flirty lips pop with juicy flavor. Not only did my husband like the piece I forced him to try, he went back for a second. And a third. Very unusual behavior for a guy who rarely indulges in sweets.
Flirty earned an average score of 8.2 in our three-person poll. This actually seems pretty low, considering how quickly we polished off the bag.
Bottom line: Buy Sporty for your tennis-loving friends, but buy Flirty for yourself!
And, Maria? Maybe it’s okay to quit that day job, after all.