*Please note that this article is part of the Ranchor (the Anchor’s satirical edition)!
Author: The Academy of Flavor Studies
Students at Hope College know many things, but one thing that everyone knows and can agree upon is the significance and importance of Phelps’ new edition of Tractor Juice. The beloved drink option only has one issue: the flavors are in constant flux. For lunch one day, a student may be drinking the most extraordinary nectar to touch a human tongue, Strawberry Pomegranate Dragonfruit. Yet, at dinner, they may be forced to choke down Peach or Mandarin Cardamom– arguably the two worst juice flavors. This begs the question: What flavors should remain constant in Phelps’ dispensary? After careful and scientific consideration, we have found the answer to the lifelong question.
After working with many variations, the ideal lineup for Tractor Juice consists of three flavor varieties: Strawberry Dragonfruit, Mango and Lemonade. These flavors weren’t selected by random, but instead, were specifically chosen due to their versatility in their usage, through a theory known as “The Dettinger Theory of Flavor Profiling.” Through rigorous studies of flavor, satisfaction, odor and neuro-profiling in the food and beverage field, esteemed academic Castle Dettinger (’27) philosophized a way to distinguish between flavors of Tractor Juice broadly. The theory was praised for its inventiveness and accuracy and has been extensively applied in all fields when discussing Tractor Juice in a dignified manner.
To date, “The Dettinger Theory of Flavor Profiling” is one of the most significant contributions to the flavor evaluation world. It claims that the flavors of Tractor Juice can be broken down into two distinct categories: light and heavy. An ideal meal should consist of multiple food groups to achieve proper nutrition. A glass of Tractor Juice is no different; a glass should carry both a light and heavy flavor to balance out its distinct flavor profiles. Strawberry Dragonfruit acts as a “heavy flavor,” while Mango and Lemonade act as “light flavors.” Whenever one uses a heavy flavor profile, other flavors get lost, hence the need for only one heavy in the ideological lineup of juices.
Yes, many different flavors of Tractor Juice could be swapped and still maintain the proposed “One Heavy, Two Light” formula, so why those three flavors specifically? This comes down to a concept called Flavor Compatibility. This is the idea that certain flavors work better with others regardless of flavor ratio. One glass may be primarily filled with a heavy flavor with only a splash of light; if the flavor compatibility holds up, its flavor profile should remain with what many would call “tasty” or a “yummy” juice. Think of the combinations with our proposed line up: “Strawberry Mango Dragonfruit,” “Mango Strawberry Dragonfruit,” “Mango Lemonade,” “Strawberry Dragonfruit Lemonade,” and many more flavor options that would stem from a student’s ratio of each flavor. You get the picture.
The next time you fill your glass with ‘that good juice,’ think of the theories supporting your flavor decision. Consider, if you can, “upping your tractor game,” utilizing what we at The Academy of Flavor Studies personally believe to be “true science” and hoping for flavors that can build a proper glass of juice with your next meal at Phelps Dining Hall.
(Photo credit: Tractor Beverage Co.)