Do Smarties Have Flavours?

Note: For you 'muricans who don’t get these there (presumably because the things you call Smarties are sweet candies we call Rockets here), I’m referring to Nestle’s candy-coated chocolates similar to plain M&Ms.

Now, I’ve eaten Smarties since I was a kid, though I don’t eat them often these days. Regardless of the colours, the shells always tasted the same to me and served only to be a crunchy appetizer to the chocolate within. But just now I was going through one of those treat-sized boxes, and as Og is my witness I swear the yellow ones had a barely perceptible lemon flavour – so faint I could almost chalk it up to my palate being fooled by the knowledge that it’s yellow and yellow is supposed to taste like lemon. Almost. But I could swear it’s there, faintly.

The thing is, in paying close attention to the others, it seems like yellow is the only one that appears to have any flavour at all. The rest have a nonspecific sweet taste.

Am I imagining it, or do the lemon smarties have a lemony flavour? And are the rest supposed to and I just can’t detect it?

They are not differently flavored (or should I say flavoured) expressly. They may have some ever so slight variant in flavor due to the all-natural sources of the colorings.

Wiki says the orange ones have orange flavoured chocolate so it’s possible the yellow ones have lemony chocolate. The light brown ones supposedly tasted like coffee.

Also the main website says there are no artificial colors or flavours yet they use things to color the smarties like spirulina, seaweed, to make the green ones green and they list lemon for the yellow ones. So if they used lemon to color the yellow ones then it probably does have a slight lemon taste as you find.

The orange ones always had a subtle orangey flavour. All the others were just plain. If they have now started flavoring the yellow ones that is an interesting development. I am just off to Tesco to try it out :slight_smile:

That’s probably a good point: I’m in Canada, and we don’t get the orange flavoured chocolate in ours (though that would be nice!). All of the chocolate in ours is plain milk chocolate. The only difference I think I can detect between any of them is that one yellow colour, and even then I still can’t be utterly positive because it was so faint.

I always wondered if the tang I got from the orange ones was a deliberate flavouring or just my impression from the orange look.

Yeah, but it’s not always the yellow one that’s different.

Also in Canada, been eating Smarties a very long time.

My experience has been that always one colour tastes different. I’ve always suspected it’s maybe pure milk chocolate or something, maybe slightly better quality chocolate.

But one colour will taste different, but they change up the colour.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

Okay, I happened to have another treat-sized box of the things I was going to save for some other time, but this called for some experimentation.

I opened the box, and for each one I would close my eyes, reach a finger into the box to slide out one Smartie, and popped it into my mouth so that colour wouldn’t play a factor. One by one, it was, nothing, nothing, nothing, no–hey, there’s that faint lemon flavour again! Popped it out and sure enough, what dye remained on the shell was yellow. It was still incredibly faint, like a distant whiff carried on an errant breeze (ooh, poetical), but it was there, and dammit, it was a yellow Smartie.

Yellow Smarties have the faint tang of artificial lemon. I’m not sure what the point is, but it’s there, and I’m sticking by it.

Now, these boxes were all from the same batch (a bag of Halloween Smarties purchased just after this past Halloween) so I can’t attest to different batches maybe having a different colour that tastes like something, but now I’m going to have to pick up a box of Smarties and do the same thing.

Do a blind taste test. Make a pile of only-yellow, and a pile of only-orange. With your eyes closed, take a few from this pile and taste them. Then from the other pile. See if you can taste the difference. If you can find someone you trust, they can hand them to you and you’ll have no idea what the expectation is.

Canadian here. There’s no difference in taste between any colour; I DID, in fact, do a blind experiment.

Could it be that different plants might use slightly different ingredients in the coating which could account for the whiff of flavour? I forgot to pick up a pack on my way home, so I’ll have to pick one up tomorrow morning and do another blind taste test. Maybe it could be a batch thing, or some cross contamination at the plant with a line that had something lemony in it.

I don’t remember them having any taste back when I ate them, but I haven’t had one in over two decades.

I find the red ones have a slightly bitter flavour, to which I accredit the red food dye. I would not eat the red ones at all if they were to remove them from the package, much less eating them last.

Now you guys have me all curious - I consider myself to have a better than average sense of taste (well, better than my husband’s, anyway), so I will be picking up a pack next time we go out. :slight_smile:

The brown ones taste of chocolate.

Well, you’d know. :slight_smile:

I get the Smarties from England, and some of them do taste like orange chocolate. It’s not a bad flavor, but since there are really no major chocolate brands in the US that are orange-flavored, it’s a little unsettling at first.

Curse you for forcing me to experiment with Smarties.
I tried a blind taste test and the only ones I can pick out by taste alone are the red ones.

The orange ones really do taste of orange - all the others are, as far as I know, not deliberately flavoured of anything different from each other.

Smarties switched to natural colourings a few years back - previously a pack contained bright colours: red, green, purple, pink, yellow, brown and blue.
After the switch to natural colours, the palette is understandably a little more muted. Blue made a comeback comparatively recently (the natural colouring being derived from spirulina)

I would expect the naturally-coloured ones to maybe taste a little different from each other, since the colourings are going to be things like chlorophyll, anthocyanins or beetroot extract. I think the yellow one might be turmeric extract, which might account for the lemony tang (turmeric isn’t what I would describe as tasting of lemon, but a really subtle hint of it might give that impression)

Okay, I picked up a box of Smarties this morning on my way to work. Now, this would be a completely different batch and a different (regular) sized box, so I’m going to do the blind taste test by closing my eyes, reaching into the box, picking one out, and popping it in to taste the shell and see if I can tell, then popping it out again before the colour has dissolved to find out what colour it was:

  1. Nothin’. On inspection: Pink.
  2. Nothin’. On inspection: Red.
    3: Nothin’. Orange.
  3. Nothin’. Red.
  4. Nothin’. Brown.
  5. Nothin’. Pink.
  6. Nothin’. Orange.
  7. Nothin’. Purple. Okay, I’ve now gotten every colour but yellow.
  8. Nothin’. Brown.
  9. Nothin’. Brown.
  10. Nothin’. Orange.
  11. THERE IT IS. There’s that hint of flavour. And upon inspection, IT’S FREAKIN’ YELLOW. I definitely could tell the difference straight away this time, having eaten 11 “control” Smarties before it to familiarize the palate.

So, different box sizes, potentially different plants, definitely different batches purchased two months apart, and both from the Toronto area, and the yellow quite definitely has a hint of lemony flavour about its coating.

I’m not sure what tumeric tastes like in very small quantites (or in useful ones, really) but now I’m curious if that might be it. I don’t think I have any tumeric at home. But at least I know I most certainly wasn’t imagining it.

Does the ingredients panel go into any detail about the colours? I’m going to buy a box and eat them on the train on the way home today…