It’s free AND it’s food based so it’s a definite YES!

This weekend we got to go check out Tongue Twister at Westfield London.

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Anyway, we rock up to the venue – which is the most colourful, Willy Wonka-esque set up in Westfield London and as soon as I saw, I instantly started getting excited. I’m a huge fan of anything colourful – much more so one that has anything to do with food! 🙂

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Now maybe I should have been a bit more patient but I couldn’t wait to see what was going on inside so I had to do a quick run around to see if I could get a sneak peek at what was going on…

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Eventually, we got called in and I’m pretty sure I left a cloud of smoke when I rushed to the entrance.

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As soon as we were in, the first thing we did was have a taste test to see how sensitive out taste buds were – turns out, over the years of eating pretty much everything and anything, my taste buds are pretty immune to anything but the strongest flavours so I got placed in the non-tasters category – the other ones were super tasters (those show offs! 😉 ) and the medium tasters. Lloyd was also a non-taster!

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Taste tests done, we washed out palate clean with what I can only describe as toothpaste sorbet. It was a sorbet but it tasted like spearmint… It was very confusing but I’ve never been known to say no to anything food based so mine was gone in lightening speed. Time for the first experience…

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The next one was all to do with how sounds affect how you taste stuff.

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There were different things you go to do in the room – my three favourites were:

1.) Listening to myself eat crunch food (crisps, popping candy and cornflakes) which is surprising how much it makes those foods feel so much crunchier  – especially the popping candy. It’s kinda hard to describe and probably best experiences for yourself. Who knew sounds had an impact on your food.

2.) Matching the experience of soft sweets you were eating to a song. Mine was a Sam Smith ditty!

3.) Eating everything I could lay my hands on. This kinda bit me in the bum later on as one of them was the sourest tasting candy in the world! I tried to be brave and hope the sourness would pass and give way to some sweet goodness underneath but it was so hard to do!

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Lloyd’s reaction before hurriedly chucking the sour sweet into the bin.

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Is it strange that I’m kind of impressed at how they managed to make a sweet that sour? (The culprit is pictured below, by the way)

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I eventually got to the point where I just started picking up snacks around the room to eat without the sound aspects to it. I’m sorry but if you leave chocolate lying around, I will eat it.

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Next off we moved to the see room. And, it’ll be pretty obvious why it’s called this in a moment…

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Essentially, the colour of objects that we find attractive to eat is almost instinctively ingrained in us – hence why certain food colours just never seem appealing to anyone. (I’m yet to think of any grey-coloured meal that leaves people ravenous at the mere sight of it…)

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We got to play a guessing game here. You go around the table, taste the drinks and make a note of what you think it is. Of course the answers were revealed later.

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But not before, I had to drag Lloyd away from playing with those Plasma balls…

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And so off we went, trying to make educated guessed at what each thing was. This reminded me of my awful attempt at wine-tasting. In the wine tasting game, we placed in a group and we had to guess the wines correctly. Each person had a full glass of wine. There were about 20 bottles to guess. No one spat their wine out. By the time we were halfway and our group put down ‘Merlot’ as our guess for a white wine, I knew we were definitely not going to be wining that wine tasting challenge. (I think our tummies full of wine were the true victors on that evening). But I digress… back to the see room!

Similar to the wine tasting though, I was terrible at guessing the flavours. I was however the only one to correctly identify the coconut flavoured drink so I’ll take my victory in that one…

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There was another bit with basil and UV lights but I’ll let you experience that one for yourself when you go there…

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Next we moved on to the smell room.

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As it turns out (and I guess I kinda knew this), most of the stuff you taste is determined by what you smell. Try holding your nose, then popping strawberry sweets into your mouth. Sure you can taste that they are sweet but they are fundamentally devoid of flavour. Now, release your nostrils and you can taste the strawberry flavours (as well as the sweetness)…

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We got given jelly beans (which have their own specific flavour) and have to try eating them in from of each of those contractions (which has different smells coming from them).This Is A Really Fun Thing To Do In London! Tongue Twister, London, White City, Westfield (43)

Spolier alert: Everything we ate, tasted, not like what it should have done, but instead, like the smell coming from these tubes.

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My personal favourite was the popcorn flavoured one (surprise, surprise) 😉 though I did find the black pepper strangely intriguing…

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Finally, it was time to big the experience farewell…

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But not before grabbing out own tests on the way out!

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NB: Tested it on Georgia – she’s also a non-taster! I think we have all jointly sabotaged out taste buds with way too much hot and spicy food! 🙂



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  • Jessica Gunn

    I’m late to the discussion, but wanted to point out that the “non-taster” and “taster” portion is actually based on your genetics, and doesn’t have anything to do with what you’ve eaten in the past 🙂 The strips are made with a compound called PTC, which is extremely similar to a bitter-tasting compound found in nature. That compound is found heavily in green vegetables and is also sprinkled throughout other natural foods, but of course green veggies are actually really good for us as humans! So evolution has been trying to get rid of our ability to taste the bitterness. So you’ll find that (most) “tasters” dislike eating greens (broccoli haters!) and “non-tasters” don’t mind except maybe when it comes to the tree-like texture! 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      No way! Ahhhhh, by genetics.. we were lied to! Haha!

      I have to say, you’ve taught us something really cool Jessica – serious kudos for letting us know – I swear, I love hearing stuff like this.. it’s so cool to think what our bodies can do.

      Thanks so much for letting us know! PS… we both totally love Broccoli 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Jessica Gunn

        Of course!! I studied genetics heavily in school so I also find it fascinating! Two scientists were in a room with a big jar of PTC that they used for experiments, and as one was pouring some of the powder into another bottle the other scientist complained that it tasted bitter. The scientist pouring it thought that was odd because he couldn’t taste it at all. And so the experiments began!
        But yeah, it’s almost identical to what is found in food in nature. Science is pretty cool! (insert nerd emoji) 🙂 I’m a non-taster as well, and I prefer it that way so I can have more freedom with my food choices!

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Exactly! Now you’re making me wish I studied genetics at school! It sounds so super interesting! Our bodies are soooooo cool aren’t they, especially the ways in which the adapt.

          Lloyd xx