One of my favorite things when I was little was going to the bank, because they always gave out dum-dums. You know those little suckers... YUMMY! To this day I can't see a dum-dum without feeling like a Pavlovian dog that I should go to the bank. Anyway, my favorite flavors were butterscotch and root beer, and my sister's favorite was lime-- unless there was a "MYSTERY" then we would fight over that one. You know the one that had the little question marks on the wrapper instead of a picture of fruit. The mystery flavor was the best because you never could tell quite what it was... It was like pina colada-butterscotch-grape all in one... and we would argue over what the flavor was, thinking that of course our taste buds' deciphering ability was far superior to anyone else around.
Well the other day while watching a show on the food network I discovered the secret of the mystery flavor. Spoiler alert: You are about to learn the unexciting truth, and may prefer to remain blissfully unaware and form your own opinions about the actual flavor of the mystery flavored sucker. This may ruin nostalgic childhood experiences for you-- it did for me.
As it turns out in the lovely factory where dumdums are made they have more flavors than they have vats to mix them in, and so several flavors are made in the same vat. However they do not fully clean and purge all lines before a new flavor goes through... so there is this in-between stage where coconut may be followed by blue raspberry, but they are mixed for a certain portion of suckers... It is these mixed/hybrid/mutt suckers that fall into the mystery flavor bin to receive the wrapper with the purple question marks... and THAT is the secret of the mystery flavor. It is not a flavor at all, it is a leftover. Don't believe me???
See, I told you it was a little sad.