James Wannerton experiences lexical-gustatory synesthesia – that is, he experiences taste when he hears or reads sounds. Wannerton decided to record his form of synesthesia in a unique way, by discovering the taste of all the stations on the London Underground.
Wannerton has been cataloging how the tube tastes since he was sixteen years old, visiting every station over the course of 38 years to create a Taste of London underground map. From oxtail soup at Oxford Circus to jelly at Wimbledon, Wannerton has documented every station’s taste. Though it sounds nice, it is not always an enjoyable sensory experience, as not all stations taste like food – Wannerton’s map has stops marked with flavors such as wet wool or burnt rubber.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition that many struggle to understand, but Wannerton says the taste comes to him intuitively. He explains to the Telegraph:
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.
See the gallery below to see some how Wannerton sense the stations: