UK & World News
Taste Map Of The Tube Gives Capital Flavour
Travellers on the London Underground may be well-acquainted with the sights, sounds and smells of the capital's busy transport network but taste is unlikely to be one of them.
However, for one man the Tube offers a smorgasbord of flavours from roast lamb and tomato soup to jelly tots and minstrels.
That is because James Wannerton can taste words due to a neurological condition called synaesthesia.
And the 54-year-old systems analyst from Blackpool has now completed a "flavour map" of the Tube, showing what each station tastes like.
These range from the good - fruit cake and ice cream - to the bad - hairspray.
Mr Wannerton told the Telegraph that the map was the realisation of a 49-year quest, having first noticed as a child each station created a distinct taste when travelling to school.
He told the newspaper: "It is incredibly consistent. These tastes and textures never change. All I did was traverse the underground lines. It was very natural and involuntary; when the taste popped up I made a note of it."
Mr Wannerton who is the president of the UK Synaesthesia Association, describes his experience of the condition on his website.
He writes: "I get these tastes whenever I verbalise a written word or hear a spoken one - even in my dreams. I get taste after taste after taste, one after another.
"It could, if I let it, take over completely, causing a sort of sensory overload or slowdown. A little like I've been told a proper drug trip is to experience."
And his taste sensations do not stop at the Tube.
He says: "I live in a house that tastes of mashed potato in a fruit gum town.
"My next door neighbours are a mix of yoghurt, jelly beans and a subtle hint of a waxy substance."
There are also the less palatable sides of life. "I have a friend whose wife tastes of vomit - I've never told them."
And: "If you are called Virginia, Denise, Donna, Helen or Christine, my brain unfortunately places you at a disadvantage. Sorry. I can't help it."