On a summery Sunday in July we planted ourselves in Well Street Common in Hackney, ready to tickle taste buds in our Flavour Feast booth. Visitors sampled from a menu of edible demonstrations unveiling how all our senses contribute to flavour. Hear from Flavour Feast chef, Hana Ayoob, how festival goers reacted to our food experiments…

This month we took flavour experiments to Street Life July, a youth-lead festival for the local community organized by Space Embrace to promote health and well-being. The festival featured food demonstrations and exercise classes as well as our own pop-up party for the senses.

Our intriguing stand and colourful demonstrations attracted a constant flow of visitors throughout the day. We were delighted to see many of our guests dragging their friends and family over from other areas of the festival – because they just had to try our experiments!

Most of our visitors began with our ‘Juicy Illusions’, sampling a selection of mystery fruit juices, and experiencing the role that sight plays in our perception of flavour.

Others tried unsuccessfully to guess the taste of jelly beans with smell or taste alone, before feeling the flavour explode in their mouth as they used both their senses in ‘Smelly Beans’.

Our friendly hosts and scientists also led our visitors through a range of other activities. Guests enjoyed ‘Texture Tasting’, quite literally feeling the impact of texture on flavour, learned whether they were super tasters and explored the impact of sound on taste as they munched on dark chocolate while listening to music at a range of different frequencies.

Our visitors’ favourite demonstration by far was ‘Taste Tripping’, as they found out how their taste buds could be tricked to perceive flavours that aren’t there. They waited patiently (although confusedly) for a miracle berry tablet to dissolve on their tongue before sampling lemons, sour sweets and vinegar – all of which suddenly tasted sickly sweet.

The day was filled with exclamations of surprise and disbelief as our visitors discovered their sense of taste wasn’t quite as simple or predictable as they’d originally thought!

 

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