What is "flavor science" exactly? It is exactly what it sounds like. The science of flavoring but that is just the tip of the iceberg and to be honest, a lot of the time I don't mind artificial flavoring. It isn't unsettling to the degree that the more elaborate flavoring is. People are playing god with our tastebuds and nobody but me seems to give a shit.
Another reason I'm being more specific is because of certain types of old school potato chips. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary with those. "Salt & Vinegar" tasted like chips that had salt (extra) and vinegar. Makes sense, nothing out of the ordinary. If you are a trusting person you can just imagine a normal assembly line where someone has a salt shaker, another has a vinegar shaker and there is no shady reason why those chips taste that way. "Sour Cream & Onion", same thing. They are taking garnishes or flavor enhancers and using those to enhance the flavor of something that already exists (the chip). BBQ chips don't taste like overcooked hotdogs, beer and sunburns. They taste like BBQ SEASONING! Again, nothing out of the ordinary. Cool Ranch is my favorite kind of chip and even then, there isn't anything out of the ordinary aside from the name they were originally going to call them: "Dylan Mckay 90210 Ranch"
Just so you know, a lot of this is going to be focused on chips because that is the biggest example of why I fear flavor science so much. So using the formulas above, I reckon there were roughly seventeen different chip flavors in existence. I haven't "reckoned" anything since I was 15, so you know I'm serious. You know the saying "variety is the spice of life"? Well apparently variety and spice just aren't enough for some people. And before you know it, chip flavors starting hitting the market that tasted not just of a spice or two, but of an entire fucking meal! How!? It creeps the hell out of me. I remember when I was younger, whenever there was a look into the distant distant future, there were people in shiny silver suits, having entire meals in pill form. And they tasted just like a whole meal. "What a crazy future...and I'm awesome" I thought. Guess what? We're there now. And it terrifies me.
Here are some of the more fucked up flavors I have come across in the last few years. Keep in mind, the majority of these taste exactly like all parts of what they set out to taste like. "Late Night Cheeseburger" tastes like ketchup, mustard, relish, beef, a bun, and onions. That is messed up, man. TOO MANY THINGS. And you just know it took like 1 drop of 1 chemical to make it taste like all that. "Lays Fries & Gravy" chips taste like thanksgiving dinner. I know fries and chips are both potatoes, but it is still rather unsettling how accurate it is. Here is another atrocity that shows you we should keep our eyes on those Japanese flavor scientists. Not only do they have a "Gold Peking Duck" flavor of doritos, they have this gem too:
Doritos Gourmet Fried Chicken and Green Onion Sauce (Japan)
Which brings me to my next point: what about the guys making these things? Friggin geniuses. You think they would just waste their talents on making a drink taste like a crispy crunch bar? or making a chip taste like a night at out a steakhouse? Fuck that noise. I guarantee you these assholes have cloned someone. You hear me? Clones exist. They exist, and they smell like sour cream & onion chips.
When it first dawned on me that flavor scientists are the only ones with the genius to clone someone, I was actually in a yoga class. This was back when I thought the cure for my restricted ability to sleep was some deep breathing, stretching and showcasing my awesome calves to flexible girls. Little did I know it was actually a crazy good workout and I sweat buckets (which in case you were wondering is not attractive). For some reason, for that yoga class, when I sweat it smelled like ketchup chips. It was weird. I had washed my clothes and showered pre-yoga, but for some reason I could just smell nothing but ketchup chips. Perhaps I was really wasted the night before and snorted some of the flavoring and it was stuck in my nose. But it was then, while exausted and giving out an oddly specific musk, I felt those scientists were the most brilliant on earth and there is probably tons of things they aren't telling us. Stuff like, oh I don't know, THEY BROUGHT BACK DINOSAURS?!
Flavor science really weirds me out now, because essentially they can make anything taste like...anything. Why don't these assholes make salads taste like steak? I know they can do it. For some reason they choose not to and that scares the hell out of me. Who is controlling flavor scientists and why? What nefarious organization is funding their research and pulling their strings? Somewhere in the world, Tupac is maintaining a car that runs on water and eating a rice wafer that tastes like a chocolate donut.
Imagine you were blindfolded and you were told to eat something and describe what it was. You take a bite, maybe chew it a little bit, it's a little crunchy but still pretty tasty. To your delight, you are under the impression that you just ate a delicious white chocolate truffle. Imagine your surprise when you take off your blindfold to discover you actually just took a bite out of a Dennis Eckersley baseball card wrapped in tinfoil. Guess what, you just got "science'd", right in the tastebuds.
And that's just the thing. It is becoming harder and harder to know what it is we are actually eating because anything can taste good now. The people behind Buckley's cough medicine are just being stubborn dicks basically. "It tastes awful, and it works"? It doesn't have to!
Thanks for Reading
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