James Wannerton, head of the UK Synaesthesia Association, has completed his nearly 50 year project to map the London Tube: by its tastes. Wannerton has experienced lifelong synaesthesia—an involuntary union of two or more senses that are ordinarily experienced discretely. For Wannerton, this means “lexical synaesthesia”: for him, a consistent association with specific tastes that accompany the words at individual tube stops.
The London Telegraph reports that the mapped flavors include familiar things like “apple pie, purple grapes, chicken soup and soft boiled egg”—but also such anomalies as “coal dust, putrid meat, burnt rubber, wet wool, pencil eraser, fuzzy felt and dried blood.”
[Images showing the complete London tube map, and a detail of five stops, including “roast lamb, warm semolina, fruit cake & dripping, and carrot,” copyright James Wannerton and Transport for London.]