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When The Fake Flavours Evoke Real Nostalgia Artificial Rose Flowers
It was created by the slushy company ICEE in the 1970s. The raspberry flavor was first synthesized around this time, and the company was looking to use it without keeping the same red color as its Cherry Slushy.
The connection between fake flavors in candy and soda and nostalgia is often rooted in people's fond memories of a certain taste or scent from their childhood. Our sense of taste and smell are deeply linked to our emotions and memories and can evoke strong feelings of nostalgia when we encounter familiar scents or flavors.
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Think of the flavor of candies like Mango Bite, popping candy, or other even savory snacks like Cheetos, Lays, and so forth. The flavors of these various childhood favorites were often artificially derived from various chemical compounds, but they still instill a deep sense of nostalgia in us when we try them again after years. It may seem strange to think that many of our favorite flavors growing up—the ones that brought us the most enjoyment as children—were all chemical compounds created in a lab. The origins of many of these flavors are definitely noteworthy and seem to capture a sense of the era they originated in.
The fake grape flavor that many of us grew up enjoying in popsicles, soda, candy, and so on is an artificially derived compound called methyl anthranilate. It is a naturally occurring flavor compound found in American Concord grapes and was first synthesized by American chemists in the early 1900s. Strangely enough, the exact same flavor compound was marketed as orange blossom essence around the same time across Europe. European grapes did not contain methyl anthranilate, and so the people associated the smell and taste with something entirely different.
Another rather interesting comparison between sweets found in the US and Europe can be drawn with the Hershey's Kiss. an ever-popular confection made with milk chocolate, so named because the machines stamping out their distinct shape look like they are "kissing" the conveyor belt. To many that have grown up eating Hershey's brand milk chocolate in the United States, the chocolate represents the standard "chocolate" taste. The brand is so dominant in the country that competitors must imitate the flavor of Hershey’s to an extent in order to seem familiar to consumers. However, a certain compound found in the dairy components of Hershey’s milk chocolate, butyric acid, is associated with a deeply unpleasant flavor by folks that did not grow up eating Hershey’s in other parts of the world. Many people claim that Hershey’s milk chocolate tastes like vomit, and they would not exactly be lying. Butyric acid is also found in the human digestive tract, and when its contents are ejected, we may end up tasting what gives Hershey’s Chocolate its distinctive, nostalgic flavor.
In general, the sense of smell, and by extension, taste, is considered one of the most powerful triggers of nostalgia, as it is directly connected to the part of the brain that processes emotions and memories. When we smell or taste a scent or flavor that we associate with a particular memory or time period, it can instantly transport us back to that moment and evoke strong emotions. The sense of taste also plays a role in nostalgia, as certain flavors can bring back memories of childhood, family gatherings, or other significant life events. Overall, the connection between fake flavors and nostalgia highlights the importance of our senses in shaping our memories and emotions.
Depending on which part of the world one has grown up in and the kinds of foods they consumed growing up, there may be a vastly different idea of what constitutes "pleasant" flavors. Fake flavors of grape, cherry, and pineapple are also found in various children’s medications and may also be associated with childhood illnesses for many who would have had to consume them.
Geography also has a massive role to play, as the natural flavors of foods in a given part of the world largely influence the kind of fake flavors that originate from them. "Blue Raspberry," as it is known stateside, is among the most well-loved and popular fake fruit flavors found across candies, slushies (crushed ice drinks), and sodas. It is a uniquely American flavor that has not quite taken other markets by storm in the same way it did stateside. It was created by the slushy company ICEE in the 1970s. The raspberry flavor was first synthesized around this time, and the company was looking to use it without keeping the same red color as its Cherry Slushy. Blue Raspberry was born as a result of this and has proliferated across the confectionary and soda industries, ending up as a hot favorite among consumers.
The ties between flavor, scent, and nostalgia are incredibly strong. It is a fascinating rabbit hole encompassing science, culture, and history, with each generation of people recounting their own unique experiences with it.
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