Sour lollies remain the most sought after sweet but just why do we like them so much?
Sour sweets range from the hard to the soft, with all kinds of chewy in between. Some are sour enough to melt your actual face off, whilst others are just pleasingly tangy.
One of life’s greatest mysteries (possibly) is why we get so much of enjoyment from something that is physically uncomfortable to eat?
Its all about sensation
Taste is a physical sensation. A reaction to certain triggers that activate our taste buds. Sour lollies are all about sensation; that journey from sour to sweet.
Although many of us enjoy the extreme sensation of the more hard core end of the candy spectrum, most of us can relate to the pleasure of sour jellies. There is just something about the initial hit of sour sugar on the tongue, that gives way to sweetness. It is a pleasing contrast, that also delivers a reward. A relief. And like a rollercoaster, or a spicy curry, it is so good that you want to go and do it all over again.
And then there is texture
If you have ever bitten your tongue, you will have first hand knowledge of the fact that the tongue is a hot bed of nerve endings. The way something feels in your mouth plays a massive part in your experience of it. Another layer of sensation is added.
In the case of sour jellies, it is again a multilevel game of contrasts. The crystalline sugar on the outside which ranges from the powdery to the positively granular (and in the best cases both) creates shapes against the tongue. They slowly (or quickly) dissolve, to reveal the softness of jelly underneath. And not just soft, but chewy. It is a complete playground in your mouth.
But what about the sour?
Most explorations of the effect of sour lollies are completely missing the point. Because, as we have seen, it goes beyond the sour. Yet it cannot be denied that the sensation part of the journey from sour to sweet is caused by the sour aspect of things.
Sour taste buds are activated by acids. Our intense reaction to sour foods can cause us to pucker our lips into grimace. It is partly learned response, partly chemical reaction.
There seems to be no evolutionary explanation for our love of sour, that does seem to diminish with age. We crave the calories that come with sweet tasting sugar, and the possibility of protein that comes with umami. We need salt to survive, whilst bitterness is usually a warning to steer clear. But sour? That remains a puzzle.
But sour is not just a one dimensional thing. Savvy sweetmakers use a number of different acids in their carefully guarded sour sugar recipes in order to get the most out their sour experience. Again, it is about creating sensations that work on multiple levels.
The mildest acids used are citric acid (from lemons) that gives a sharp and bright short lived shot, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) that is mildly fizzy. Malic acid (from green apples) with its sour slightly astringent taste lasts for longer. Tartaric acid, from lemons and bananas (if you think that’s odd, think green banana) strips the moisture from your mouth.
Don’t forget astringency
Astringency is often related to sourness, yet something does not have to be sour to be astringent. It is the sensation of having your mouth stripped of all its saliva. The truly lip puckering. This has nothing to do with the reaction of taste buds to acid and is an entirely different reaction in itself. Think of strong black tea, or the skin of grapes.
So it would seem that the reasons behind our enjoyment of sour sweets is more than just an exploration into the science of sour. And more about the seeking of sensation plus the promise of reward.
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If you are planning an event and want to include lollies in your theme then our guide to lollies is a good place to start. We stock a huge range of bulk lollies to buy online so there is something to suit every occasion.
This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Bulk Lollies Wholesale”.
See original article:- Why do we Like Sour Lollies so Much?