DID YOU KNOW: Orange-Flavored Drinks Taste Like Cherry if You Dye Them Red
This just in from the Kool-Aid School of Cooking. Apparently color, more than actual content, determines how we perceive a drink’s sweetness, authenticity, likeability and in some cases, even taste. As in, that green drink you thought was lemon-lime? Cherry in disguise. And that bright red drink you swore was sweeter than the pink one? One in the same, honey — one in the same.
Of course, that’s not to say the fruit juice companies are tricking you every time you pop a straw into a Juicy Juice — just that they could if they wanted to. According to a list of food studies compiled by the University of Washington, the way our brains associate color to taste strongly affects our ability (or inability) to correctly determine flavor.
“It is likely that people learn and become familiar with specific combinations of colors and tastes,” the report states. Which explains why, in one study, subjects were able to guess their drinks’ flavors every time, as long as they could see their “proper” colors. But when the colors were distorted, 40% of people thought a cherry drink was really lemon-lime, and only 20% believed an orange drink was actually orange.
Another study demonstrated how the reddest in a series of cherry-flavored drinks were perceived as being “stronger,” more “likeable” and more “true” cherry than their pinker counterparts.
The point is, next time you’re craving a cherry limeade, just grab a Sprite and toss in a couple drops of red food dye. It’s like, practically the same thing.
TOP STORIES THIS WEEK