‘We Try It’ is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
Experimentation is good in most cases. I mean, remember that time Brian Wilson used audio featuring The Beatles’ Paul McCartney chewing on a piece of celery on The Beach Boys’ track ‘Vegetables.’ That was cool.
Lately, food and drink brands have been reaching new audiences thanks to their experimentation with unique flavorings – some good, some bad. On the good side, see, for example, Coca Cola’s apple-flavored drink, which our friends in the South were very fond of. Within the same timeframe as that tasty drink release, however, we got something very bad; Fanta’s own unique black drink.
We’re unsure what the thought process was behind this new Fanta flavor, called Fanta Heimoyao in China, which directly translates to Fanta Black Magic Key. Judging by the bottle design, this limited-edition flavor was designed specifically for Halloween and is notable for its chocolate banana flavor. Not a good start.
Fanta released a teaser on their official Weibo account on October 8, introducing the new flavor. We were able to nab the soft drink a day later at our local Family Mart for RMB5.60. We went into this taste test with open minds and hearts and, believe us, really wanted to enjoy it. Check out our verdicts below:
“The first thing that hits you is the smell, which is that of artificial banana used in bubble gum and children’s medicine. On the tongue, the flavor is one of synthetic sweetness followed by a hint of... orange(?!) in the aftertaste. Once you go black... it turns out you most certainly can go back.”
“This entire experience begins with the sickening combination of artificial banana and bubblegum aromas emitting from a glass of black fizzy beverage. Once you get past that grossness, you have notes of rancid hazelnut to look forward to. This does not need to exist.”
“Tastes and smells like antibiotics. When I went to pour the rest of the drink down the sink, I was very alarmed by the artificial black coloring. Score: 1/5. Wait, no, on second thought 0/5. Would not recommend. Don't wanta Fanta.”
“This drink is woeful, BUT, it isn’t quite undrinkable. If I was dying of thirst like Kendrick Lamar, I’d drink it. Hell if I ran out of mixer on a boozy evening, I'd use it too.”
The final verdict (an average of all four ratings provided above): 0.5/5
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[Cover image by Joan Dai]