Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Everlasting battery-flavoured ball

Not quite an everlasting gobstopper
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(+5, -4)
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The cool thing in the movie (X And The Chocolate Factory) is an everlasting gobstopper. This is not an everlasting gobstopper but an everlasting sherbet ball, which actually tastes of batteries.

As a teenager, i was in the habit of sucking golf balls. These were somewhat insoluble in saliva, with the result that they didn't taste of anything. It would seem that any attempt to make an everlasting confectionery would be hampered by lack of solubility. This is not so.

A sphere could be coated with a golf ball dimple like honeycomb of alternating conducting and insulating materials. The dimples are alternately negatively and positively charged electrodes. The whole surface is inert, non-toxic and not subject to corrosion. At the centre of the ball is a rechargeable battery. The current is very low, but enough to provide a mild tingling sensation on the tongue.

When the battery runs down, it can be recharged by electrical induction.

It's also very tough in order to avoid it being bitten into accidentally.

nineteenthly, Mar 18 2008

Simpson's episode, Lisa finds AAA battery in her mac-n-cheese http://www.tv.com/t...e/728345/recap.html
she spit it out, so no sherbert taste there! [xandram, Mar 19 2008]

[link]






       Forgive my lack of knowledge in the area of culinary science, but, um, this is sherbet exactly... how?
globaltourniquet, Mar 18 2008
  

       Would it not need a renewable coating of sweetener ?
8th of 7, Mar 18 2008
  

       [inA19thManner] is clearly positing that the sherbet experience is most prominantly imparted by way of the // mild tingling sensation on the tongue.//   

       [inA19thManner] is egregiously mistaken.
globaltourniquet, Mar 18 2008
  

       What i actually want is some way to stimulate specific taste buds without a chemical stimulus. That might be possible because a depolarised receptor is always interpreted as sending its own sensation regardless of how that depolarisation happens, except in synaesthesia, but i can't work out how to do this with specific taste receptors.   

       Rather than handwaving, the best i can come up with right now is to make it taste of batteries, and i would say that is closest to the taste of sherbet. It could be worse - i could have said there were little swivelling spheres embedded in the surface with different-tasting molecules bound to them, but that would just be silly.
nineteenthly, Mar 18 2008
  

       Whaaa? The taste of batteries is closest to the taste of sherbet?   

       Am I taking crazy pills?
globaltourniquet, Mar 18 2008
  

       Yes, and you should keep a close eye on the doseage.
normzone, Mar 18 2008
  

       In all my life of hearing phrases, and let's just say I've been hearing phrases for the slightly better part of an average life, I just may never have heard any phrase that I would more likely identify as a candidate for the one I would deem least likely to ever hear in that life than one proclaiming that the taste of batteries is anywhere near the taste of sherbet.
globaltourniquet, Mar 18 2008
  

       OK, i admit it. Happy now? Duly edited.
nineteenthly, Mar 18 2008
  

       "Tastes like battery sherbet" might be a good tagline, though.
nick_n_uit, Mar 19 2008
  

       //As a teenager, i was in the habit of sucking golf balls...// Was there a garden hose involved?
ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 19 2008
  

       Hahaha..garden hose. I know what you mean by sherbet/batteries. Its that sharp, biting sensation on the tongue. Like an acidic taste.
rascalraidex, Mar 19 2008
  

       Sorry, everybody, but I'm bunning it. No way would I want one, but this does specify a real problem (long lasting taste stimulus) and provide a real (not great, but real) solution. No magic, no handwaving.   

       I am pretty sure that if you had some salt (hard to avoid, really) in your mouth, the electrolysis (actually electron transport, since it's already dissociated) of the constituents would make it taste terrible. (In my opinion, it does. Sorry.) There might be something you could swish, mouth-washly, that would electrolytically separate into something with a pleasant taste. Maybe even sherbert-ish, though I doubt it.   

       (And, [gt], I read your anno to my son. It really illustrates the idea of "punctuate, so your readers don't die")
lurch, Mar 19 2008
  

       I have voted for this, in that I can easily sense the taste connection between batteries and sherbet, strange as that seems.
tatterdemalion, Mar 19 2008
  

       Thanks, so i'm not completely out of my tree on this matter. I need to know more about the physiology of taste receptors. There's at least the issue of hydroxyl ions (bitter?), hydrogen ions (sour) and maybe combined anions and cations for salt. In more detail, i don't know. It couldn't be very sophisticated because of the olfactory factor in flavour.   

       I think the disagreement about battery flavour and sherbet probably means something about subjective taste experiences.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2008
  

       Would it be possible to create electrolytes using this sweet?   

       If you want it to be everlasting, make it squishy like a stress ball and have piezo crystals in it.
marklar, Mar 19 2008
  

       Sweet and bitter would seem to be extremely difficult or impossible with this. If there were a way for the ball to detect specific taste receptors and target electrical impulses very precisely, presumably any taste could be simulated, but i can't see that that's at all doable. The following things, i think, are though: the taste of Sichuan pepper, a metallic taste and a numbing sensation somewhat akin to peppermint. The "taste" of electrical current is metallic, the taste of Sichuan pepper (which i think of as prickly ash) is a TENS-style sensation, because it tingles and relieves pain, so that can be done, and sensations of cold and heat can be provided by heating and cooling the ball. It also seems to me that sour is possible through some kind of electrolytic process, as [lurch] suggested. However, the need for mouthwash stops it from being "everlasting", which i don't like. I recognise that these are skirting the edges of the sensation of taste, but they do include sensations commonly lumped in with it.   

       I don't want to end up with some magical way of finding specific receptors and just doing it that way. I want this to work, and for there to be sound, practical principles behind it, but right now i'm at something of a loss.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2008
  

       I am a lover of sherbet. I regularly choose sherbet when I go to the ice cream counter.   

       When people come near me with batteries with the intent of enticing me to touch them to my tongue, I flee the other way with a horrid look on my face. I cannot do that "test" thing people do - it rankles my nerves.   

       Sherbet, on the other hand, I would identify as one of the most pleasant experiences my tongue has ever had.   

       Thus my astonishment to find that some people liken them. De gustibus non disputandum est, eh?
globaltourniquet, Mar 19 2008
  

       There could be little holes on the surface which open and close rapidly like a foil razor to simulate fizziness, perhaps while gently electrocuting your tongue. Would you prefer that, [globaltourniquet]?
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2008
  

       You don't need to accommodate me. I'll just stick with my corner ice cream shop and let you and your little friends eat batteries.
globaltourniquet, Mar 19 2008
  

       It's no longer just a battery thing. It now also gnashes your buccal mucosa to bits. Strangely, that doesn't seem to appeal to you. It can cause frostbite too, if you like.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2008
  

       What the hell were doing sucking golf balls? Are you free Saturday night?
Noexit, Mar 19 2008
  

       I mark few things for tagline, but [marked-for-tagline] "It's no longer just a battery thing"   

       It just seems very HB to me. Pun withstanding.
globaltourniquet, Mar 19 2008
  

       I was sucking golf balls because i enjoyed the sensation of pressure on the opposite side of the opposite jaw when i moved it sideways, and the texture of the dimples was attractive to my tongue. However, i came unstuck when my maths teacher asked me a question which required something other than a yes/no answer. It's a shame O-level maths wasn't all in binary really, as then i could've got away with it.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2008
  
      
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