If we've learned one thing from our orange soda taste test, it's this: Our taste buds need to seek psychological counseling.
Certain foods take special residence in our childhood memories, but they never make the cut into our adult lives. (It'd be weird to see a Wall Street suit-type sucking on a Go-Gurt while berating someone on his Bluetooth, right?) Orange soda is one of those foods that just never made the transition to adulthood, for whatever reason -- we're guessing it's because Adult You is more health-conscious than Child You, or because it looks unprofessional to show up to a meeting with a neon orange tongue.
So because we don't drink it regularly anymore, orange soda evokes powerful associations with our early years. Seriously. Memories so powerful that they cloud our judgement of what "good" orange soda is. Basically, what we're saying is that the psychological link to our childhood has murdered our ability to decipher good from bad. Do you REALLY like Fanta, or does it just remind you of a time when you could run around the kiddie pool naked, before you had to worry about paying rent?
Because all of our taste tests are blind taste tests (meaning the tasters have no idea which brands they're drinking), sometimes we're horrified to find we've ranked the major monster brands atop the list, when the beloved artisanal products that we buy regularly end up ranked at the bottom. This is one of those occasions. Despite receiving markedly negative comments, our winner is a major brand that exhibits all the qualities of your typical orange soda (fluorescent orange, uber sweet). But among the complaints were also comments such as these: "Tastes like my childhood," and "Too syrupy, but it's what orange soda is supposed to taste like." Supposed to taste like? Clearly, our tongues need therapy.
We were also saddened to see that the last-place finisher is what we THOUGHT was one of our favorite brands. Someone called it "butt water," and now we just don't know what to think.
Read all the comments below, and let us know what you think.
As always, this taste taste is in no way sponsored or influenced by the brands included.
Orange Soda Taste Test, 2013
This story appears in Issue 67 of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, available Friday, Sept. 20 in the iTunes App store.