Can a Blind Man Guess Jelly Belly Colors by Their Taste?


The color of artificially flavored foods is often made to reflect the real thing (hence, lime-flavored popsicles are usually electric green), but such a distinction is only apparent to those who can see it. Blind since birth, Tommy Edison—better known as the Blind Film Critic—took a prompt from a YouTube commenter and decided to test his tongue's ability to identify the color of Jelly Belly jelly beans. Without sight, his only tools were what he'd been told about the color of food and fruit and his first-hand experience with tastes.

In the video above, Edison's recollection of food colors is impressive (though there are a few great moments like: "Coconuts are white?! You learn something new every day!"), but he's less skilled at connecting the artificial flavors to the actual fruit. Or, as he says: "You know what I'm learning from this game so far? I don't eat enough fruit." Despite some mistakes—like thinking a flavor called "Top Banana" is red licorice—Edison does get a couple things right, which is remarkable for someone with no sense of what color looks like, let alone how colors relate to food. 

Jelly Belly creates its flavors using a gas chromatograph to analyze the vapors and chemical makeup of a particular food, but it is not an exact science, which is why their attempt to make a pizza flavor resulted in the infamous Barf and Vomit flavors.

At the end of the video, Edison concludes that he may need to repeat the test with a blindfolded sighted person to see how well they can identify the Jelly Belly colors. Needless to say, we'd love to watch.

[h/t: Laughing Squid]