Who would expect we get to eat in our first lesson of class? It was an awesome way to start the class! The chocolates I had satisfied my hungry stomach lifting my mood for an early morning. Our task is to use our senses to taste and smell the chocolate we were given and link it to our memory. Before the mini class activity start, the lights were off so our senses will be more acute since our eyesight were blinded. After each chocolate tasting, we were given a small piece of bread to eliminate the remaining chocolate taste before we begin a new piece of chocolate.
Here’s my analysis on the three chocolates I had tasted. I had slight sore throat and blocked nose. I hope my analysis won’t be that far off from the rest. ]
Feel: Smooth. This seemed like a typical chocolate that can be found in supermarket.
Smell: Slightly bitter and smelled like dark chocolate.
Taste: Hard and slowly break down. Bitter to slightly spicy. The more chocolate I bit, the spicier the finishing taste was. I guessed the spicy come from cayenne pepper.
Memory: As the taste reminded me of cayenne pepper, I remembered my horrible cooking in the past. I added too much of this into my noodle soup and the whole bowl tasted so spicy and not even savory. I had to finish the whole thing because wasting food is bad. This just made my nose leaked the whole time.
Feel: Textured surface in round shape. It felt like a luxurious chocolate.
Smell: Slightly bitter like dark chocolate.
Taste: The taste was smoother than the previous chocolate. There’s a sour taste. It seemed like alcohol is added in. Unlike the spicy flavor that slowly kicked in and lingered in chocolate A, this sour taste came strong in the beginning and faded quick. At the end after eating, I felt disgusted somehow, my heart had the sicky feeling, not sure why.
Memory: I recalled myself drinking low alcohol percent of red wine. Pretty meh.
Chocolate C (The crowned winner!)
Feel: There are small humps and rougher texture on one side.
Smell: Slight salty savory smell.
Taste: Crunchy. It tasted like hollow air biscuit. The biscuit is light and airy so it gets crushed easily when bite. Initially there wasn’t much of a taste at the start then the sweet and savory slowly appear at the end.
Memory: I was horrified when I touched the chocolate because the humps reminded me of fake spider legs. I was on the verge of throwing the chocolate on the floor. My logical side stopped and calmed me down by telling me, “The last one can’t be some weird shit. It felt like it… but nope it can’t be. She won’t feed us spider chocolate.” Pinning my hope on it as Ms. Cheryl can’t be a psycho. The smell made a 180⁰ change on my perspective. The slight salty savory smell reminded me of a Malay snacks served in a cone paper during my primary school days. My school held some Malay festival so there are booths that sell Malay snacks. I had a lot of fun with my friend trying out things we usually don’t get in our canteen. This made me curious, wanting to taste it because it’s so rare to have my feelings changed so fast from nightmare to first love.
This diagram show different parts of our tongue is responsible for different basic taste. To be honest, when I was tasting the chocolates I feel that every part of my tongue seems to taste the various tastes. Hence, I researched and discovered the tongue map is a myth. The research of Edwin Boring and Virginia Collings revealed that all tastes can be detected anywhere there are taste receptors which is all around our tongue. Only that the degree of sensitivity varies at some areas of our tongues leading scientists to assumed areas with low sensitivity were areas of no sensitivity.
Does our nose works the same way as the tongue?
Air travels pass the millions of olfactory receptors on the roof of nasal cavity. Odor molecules stimulate the receptors that sent signal through the olfactory nerve to the bulb. Signal from the bulb spark memory in the brain. 80% of the flavors we tasted come from what we smell. That’s a lot from our nose.
Fun fact: Humans can recognize 10000 different odors but no two people sense the same things.
I saw this article on BuzzFeed. This seem to be an interesting topic to work with in Singapore Context like toys we play at Mama shop when we were young. That will be so nostalgic and fun to go back to those days.
A unique tear drop exhibition on smell and memory but i think its hard to pull off. Each person has their individual interpretation on a same object like wood smell can be interpreted as burnt wood, wood after a raining day, etc. I think they probably get the most distinct smell that everyone can recognize to evoke the memory of the place or object.
A creative installation that explore Singapore through scent. I wonder how Yishun smell like? Will there even be a distinct smell that make me recognize it?
Scent Map Singapore
Make your own Smell memory amulet! It records smell like camera. So advanced and simple to create. I want a floral light refreshing scent to calm my nerves at all times.
As I was researching, I reminded of the Poke-Senses box game I created for my portfolio to enter ADM. The rules are simple. There are nine holes containing different things to feel. Some are nasty and some feel good. Basically, poke your finger into the hole at the start line and try to navigate your way out. At the end, there will be two path; one good and another will chopped off your finger just kidding but it will hurt.