How mystery flavors confuse our taste buds

How mystery flavors confuse our taste buds

The candymaker receives heaps of fan theories every day—from tart lemon to smooth vanilla—but no one has gotten it right. Today, only a few dozen people know the secret identity; the rest of us have to settle for simpler certitudes. The tang of citric acid makes White Mystery undeniably fruity, and a mixture of sugar and corn syrup adds ample sweetness. The absence of color, however, is the curveball: It deprives the brain of the visual cues that can help taste buds determine the source and the intensity of a given zing.

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