Color Of The Month: Artificial Banana Flavoring (Synesthesia Edition!)
Synesthesia is a rare but fascinating neurological condition in which the brain perceives the same stimuli through more than one sense. A person with the condition may smell sounds or hear sights. Unfortunately, the most common way it manifests in many people is that every thing in the world looks, smells, and tastes like artificial banana flavoring.
You might think that this means everything is banana-yellow, but that’s not true. The nature of synesthesia is such that everything looks like how banana candy tastes.
[irp]Let us stress that we don’t mean the subtle, pleasant taste of an actual banana. Rather, everything we see tastes like those yellow Runts you throw out or the Now and Laters some awful old lady gave you on Halloween. All we see when we open our eyes is that weird, fake, overpowering, far-too-tangy banana flavor that tastes nothing like a real banana. It’s hard to explain if you don’t have synesthesia, and if those of us who do have synesthesia tried to tell you, it would just sound like the color yellow (banana shade) to us. Synesthesia kind of sucks.
Something Tastes Funny. Or Looks Funny. Whatever.
Synesthesia is especially a bummer and leading cause of FOMO in the autumn, a time full of delectable sights. Check out this picture:
Do you see a young couple, dressed in buffalo plaid, picking apples on a farm upstate? That must be nice for you, because all we “see” is the unpalatable taste and uncomfortable mouthfeel of some artificial banana candy. Here’s a big group of friends sipping on cider while they take a hay ride to a barn party:
Doesn’t that look fun? Not to us. With synesthesia, it just looks like disgusting artificial banana flavor. Or tastes, rather. Gah.
Thankfully, there’s a respite from this nonstop visual assault of gross, cloying, too-banana-to-be-banana flavoring filling up our eyeballs every second of the day. At least all those delicious fall and winter foods and beverages—pumpkin pie, mulled cider, butternut squash soup—don’t taste like artificial banana.
But because of synesthesia, they don’t taste like pumpkin pie, cider, or butternut squash soup either. They taste like the specific sound made by an industrial food extractor in the process of producing artificially banana-flavored candy.