As human beings, we rely on our five senses for everything in life. We use our taste to savor Insomnia Cookies after a night out. We occasionally catch a whiff of 251 from Ellicott if it’s a really good day. We see McKeldin Mall, which makes us proud to be Terps, and we realize we’re even happier when we hear pan flute guy playing strangely awesome ancient Mesoamerican music simply for the enjoyment of student passersby. Lastly, we use our sense of touch to do the most important thing on campus: rub Testudo’s nose so we don’t fail out of UMD.
Senses dominate our lives and allow us to live to our true potential. That’s why last month’s featured Spoon event, Sense-ations, focused on bringing the UMD community together to show the importance of senses when it comes to experiencing everyone’s favorite thing: food.
The event featured three stations in which students could put their palates and noses to the test. The challenge made students realize that sometimes, we just can’t trust our senses.
Station #1: Popcorn Palooza
Students smelled three different types of popcorn, Old Bay, hot cocoa and curry powder, in a sealed paper bag at this station to see if they could identify the flavor. Some people nailed it, some got all three wrong, and some thought they were supposed to eat the popcorn out of our hands for some reason. A common misstep on this one was people smelling cinnamon sugar from the bag of hot cocoa powdered popcorn. After the smell test, free popcorn was given out for actual eating.
Station #2 : Crazy Cupcakes
The cupcake station played mind tricks on students. Lemonade, pink lemonade and cinnamon cupcakes were dyed pink, blue and green. Although they looked funky, the color of the cupcakes did not represent the flavor of the cupcakes. For example, the red cupcakes were actually lemonade flavored, and many people said they tasted strawberry or watermelon. This challenge was all about seeing if people would trust their eyes or their taste buds. Few succeeded; many failed. Regardless, everyone was able to enjoy a delicious cupcake at the end.
Station #3: Goofy Goldfish
The final station had three different types of Goldfish crackers: pretzel, pizza and cinnamon. Students closed their eyes and used their senses of taste and touch to determine what type of Goldfish they were eating. This might sound easy, but it turned out to be way more difficult than many expected. One participant confidently thought that the pizza Goldfish was actually a pretzel Goldfish. You can’t always trust your taste buds.
And of course, no awesome food event is complete without copious amounts of Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia was gracious enough to donate cookies to our event, ensuring that even those who failed our senses challenge would undoubtedly leave happy.
Keep an eye out for Spoon UMD’s next monthly event, focusing on how to eat healthy and keep off those unwanted pounds.