When I was a kid, one of my favorite parts of grocery shopping was coming home with a fresh pack of gum. Hubba Bubba, Bubble Yum, Big League Chew, Freshen Up, Juicy Fruit, Fruit Stripe, or anything cool. Nothing was worse than getting a pack of CareFree or Extra chewing gum that my Mom chewed, that was like disappointment central. Unfortunately, one of the iconic gums from our childhood is now gone in Missouri, and everywhere else.

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I'm talking about Fruit Stripe gum. After 54 years Ferrara Candy is discontinuing the fruity-flavored gum that's been around since 1969. In an email to Today.com, a Ferrara representative confirmed that the company is sunsetting the gum. However, you might still be able to find it on store shelves for a while.

For the uninitiated, Fruit Stripe was a fruit gum that came in five flavors. Melon, Cherry, Lemon, Orange, and Peach Smash -- and the gum was striped like a zebra in each of the flavors. Recently each stick came with a temporary tattoo of their mascot Yipes the Zebra. I say recently, because the last time I bought a pack of Fruit Stripe gum, the temporary tattoo wasn't part of the package.

The advertisement above, from YouTube, says Fruit Stripe will tickle your tongue. For a lot of us, though, Fruit Stripe gum was nothing more than a huge taste bud tease. One of the things many people are mentioning is how the gum lost its taste rather quickly. The TV show "Family Guy" poked fun at that.

When I think back to my memories of the gum, yeah, I think about the colorful pack it came in, the colored zebra stripes, and how it was one of the gum choices that was kind of a letdown because the flavor would disappear in what seemed seconds. That of course, necessitated shoving another stick in my mouth, which would be equally as disappointing as the first. It would then be rinse and repeat until the pack of gum was gone in an afternoon.

All that said, Fruit Stripe being discontinued seems like another little bit of my childhood is being stripped from me. Kind of like how old late-night movies have been replaced by infomercials. Or how Hostess denies the fact that Lemon Zingers ever existed. They did, and I blogged about it, and a few times a year people email me about it. That however is a story for another time.

Anyway, if I run across a pack of Fruit Stripe gum at the checkout over the next couple of months I'm going to buy a pack. I don't chew gum much anymore, but for some reason, I'm longing to taste the disappointment when the flavor leaves the gum way to quickly, just like when I was a kid.

At least we still have Juicy Fruit!

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