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September 30, 2010 / Lauren

Taste buddies.

I think my taste buds are broken.  Let me explain:

Last weekend, my face was graced with a zit so large it could be accurately described as a chin nipple.  Naturally, this put me in a cranky mood.

To improve my mood, we took the 45 minute drive over to Fort Worth to check out the Kimbell.  It was great, and afterwards Eric suggested we get milkshakes at Braum’s.  Guys, I love Braum’s very, very much.  Here’s why:

(begin tangent)

1) Braum’s has not updated a single pixel of their print or marketing collateral since 1981.  Cups? Same design as when I was a little kid.  Frozen lasagna posters?  Same design made in WordArt on a machine running MS-DOS.  You’d think that as a graphic designer, I would find this offensive. Instead, I think it’s endearing and adorable.  (Kind of like when authentic Mexican restaurants have misspelled words on their menus.)  Plus, as in fashion and music, if you don’t redesign anything for a very long time, it becomes trendy again.  It’s magic.

2) This commercial:

My friend Heather and I are obsessed with it.  Every time we hang out, we sing the song in harmony. Even the three piano notes at the very beginning and the fiddle part during the voiceover.

We are really cool.

3) Still family owned and operated, Braum’s gives a damn about freshness.  They refuse to open any stores more than 300 miles away from their Tuttle, Oklahoma dairy farm.

4) When my dad was in college, he worked at Braum’s in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  He got in trouble for misspelling ‘raspberry’ on the marquee.  I respect the fact that Braum’s values correct spelling.  Go Braum’s.

(end tangent)

So, anyway, I got a butter pecan milkshake and Eric got vanilla.  About halfway through my shake, I said something like, “Wow, I’m really glad I got this butter pecan shake.  It is so tasty and buttery.” And Eric was all, “That’s vanilla.  I have your butter pecan shake.  Can you not tell the difference between vanilla and butter pecan?”  I was kind of freaked out, because after trying them both, I COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE.  One of them contained chunks of nuts!  What is wrong with me?!  I’m flavordumb.

I thought back to my freshman year of college.  In a design class, my professor set up an experiment: students were blindfolded and asked to identify different brands of soda/pop/coke/high fructose corn sauce.  Most of the students thought Pepsi was Coke and Dr. Pepper was Pepsi. Even diehard Coke drinkers couldn’t identify Coke blindfolded.  The idea was that our perceptions about soft drinks are largely colored by packaging and advertising- not the actual taste of the product.  Kind of an interesting experiment, except I got every single pairing wrong.  I thought Sprite was Root Beer, and Orange Soda was Pepsi.  I was the laughing stock of the class.

So, if you ever cook me something and I say I like it- watch out.  It probably tastes terrible to everyone else on earth.  Is anyone else flavordumb?  I think I need a support group.

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Katie / Sep 30 2010 10:52 am

    I love Braums too.

  2. Heather Fowler / Sep 30 2010 10:55 am

    “Carpe ice cream.” Seize the ice cream no matter what that flavor! This makes me smile and I feel famous that I made it into your blog. Also, I overuse exclamation points. I always have! I don’t know how to stop!!!!

  3. Jonathan Masiello / Sep 30 2010 5:05 pm

    Wow, that is pretty hardcore. I went through one of the exact same types of experiments in a class in college, and I got most of them wrong, mainly because I all I would ever say is “Ew. I don’t know, I don’t like it .. Ew.” Unless it was Dr. Pepper. I got that right every time. The smell and the taste are very distinct to me, and I love it. After all, it is the only soda I drink (maybe except for that crap in our office).

    • Lauren / Oct 1 2010 9:43 am

      I think we should stage a coup d’etat and only have Dr. Pepper in the office. It’s my favorite too!

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