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Monthly Archives: September 2014

  • Candy, Your Senses and Psychology

    What was your favorite childhood candy growing up? Was it taffy…butterscotch…peppermints? Whatever it was, your candy of choice could hold a significant meaning to you in terms of memories. In a recent article, the world of psychology points out an interesting finding that pairs together our ability to smell and taste with some of our childhood memories. When your favorite candy hits your mouth, your tongues receptors experience these senses: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savory).


    The human brain stores olfactory memories which can contribute to memories that are based on taste and smell experiences. It could be the reason why you remember going down to the shore and spending time at the boardwalk every time you eat salt water taffy. Another example could be thinking of the holiday season when you eat peppermint candies. Your memories and your favorite candies are unique to your experiences and just a taste or even smell can trigger a memory in an instant. Additionally, the sense of smell and taste is closely linked to emotion so it’s no wonder why you have little moments of joy eating a few M&Ms.

    Different candies may have associations with specific holidays or times of the year because they are most plentiful and abundant. For instance, candy corn is typically eaten around Halloween, so if you are a fan of this corn shaped treat, you may think of your favorite Halloween costume. For another example, did one of your parents wear a distinctive perfume or cologne when you were growing up? If you were to smell that scent today, it might make you think of them – this concept is the same for foods. In fact, olfactory memories like those mentioned, seem to be first stored when we are aged around 6 to 10 years old.

    Smell and taste go hand-in-hand with memory storage which could be the reason why you remember such vivid experiences just by tasting your favorite candy. Maybe take a trip down memory lane and treat yourself to a sweet recollection.

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