Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Only the Red

O is for Only the Red M&M's Taste Different

One day at work, a friend commented that she didn't like the red M&M's as well as the other colors. I said they all tasted the same and she insisted that the red ones were different. Well, I thought this comment definitely needed further investigation.
Do the different colors taste different?

Off I went to get a bag of M&M's. I carefully tasted each color and indeed, the red did taste different. Must be something with the dye, I thought. But did the red just taste different because I expected it to? Next I tried a blind taste test and the results were not as conclusive, but still there could be something there about the red ones tasting different.

After that, I enlisted the help of my husband and son. I had no problem getting their help when I told them all they had to do was eat M&M's. Again, the results were inconclusive, but there still was enough of a trend to warrant more examination.

Then I sat down to design an experiment to test the theory that red M&M's taste different than the other colors and to get more data points. As it turns out with so many different colors to work with, the design got quite complicated. In fact too complicated to carry out the experiment in the casual way I wanted. That meant I simplified things, so that I was no longer using journal-worthy test methods, but I proceeded anyway.

I went to Aldi's to get a couple of large bags of M&M's to start setting up the experiment. Well, one thing led to another, and it took me several days before I got a chance to get much done. And I think you can guess what happened next? I ate all of the variables (M&M's). A couple of weeks later, I got more M&M's to try again. And guess what? I ate them before I got the experiment set up.

So what were my conclusions? Maybe the red ones do taste different, but more work needs to be done to know for sure. However, more conclusively I proved that I like M&M's and have little self control when they are around.

Have you ever noticed that one color of an M&M tasted different than another?