Young Girl Lemon Challenge

Brand: Ribon

Cost: 108 yen

Found at: Kyoto Daiso

There are times when you expect the worst and are pleasantly surprised. There are other times when you expect the worst and you are dead on.

I knew as soon as I saw the illustration of a blonde Elvis with a lemon for hair that I was going to suffer. Ever since my youthful dalliance with warheads, sour has been my least favorite flavor. Even now, whenever I see a sour candy, my mouth tingles in preparation of an onslaught of flavor. I thought that with age I would overcome this childhood trauma and learn to like sour the same way I learned to like spicy. I sincerely thought that, with my more mature palate, that I could safely give lemons another a go.

And for a few brief moments that was true. When I popped this candy into my mouth, I was delighted to find a mildly lemony soft candy. Lulled into a false sense of security, I bit into the soft outer layer, and all my worst fears were realized. Not only did it get sour, but it kept getting sour. Usually there is a sour plateau with candies – a point at which the intensity abates – not with this one. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I would move my jaw and be hit with a wave of stronger and stronger lemon flavor. This candy plays mind games with you: it is not just that it is puckeringly sour, but that you have to dwell in the fearful realization that it will only get worse. And even when you finally, triumphantly finish it, your taste buds are left completely fried, and for the rest of the afternoon you are left to wonder if you will ever taste anything again. If you like sour, this 100yen candy offers great bang for your buck. If you have any taste buds at all, you’ll avoid it like the plague.

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