Thursday, March 26, 2020

An In-depth Look at Which Flavour in a Classic Package of Starburst is the Best Flavour

While there are several special editions varieties of Starburst taffy candies, the classic, or original flavours are lemon, strawberry, orange and cherry. The point of this article is not to review Starburst, you can go here to read my review of original Starbursts, the point of this article is to look at each flavour individually and pick out the best one. This is a debate that has been going on in the candy world for generations, and I don’t think that this article is going to solve anything, I’m hoping it’s just another footnote in the great debate.

I’m going to look at the original Starburst candies in several ways, then take this information to attempt to make a rating. Keep in mind that this is the workings of a man that is obsessed with candy, and not any kind of final decision. Most of the opinions expressed in this article are mine, except for the part with the informal pole, where I asked several other candy fanatics to list their favourite in order.

There are only two reasons that the information from the article will be of any use to anybody. It might be useful to a person if they’ve never tried Starburst before, and for some strange reason decided that they will only purchase a bulk package of the candy containing only one flavour. That, or it might be useful to someone who likes candy and is really bored, or wants to find something to disagree with on the internet. Let’s start by taking a look at the colour of the candy.


The idea of this category is to simply look at the candies colour and see how much it evokes the flavour, as well as how appetizing the candy looks. When I say how much the colour evokes the flavour, I don’t mean how much it looks like fruit (more on that later), but instead how much it reminds me of the fruit.

Lemon – Yellow and lemon are pretty easy to put together. This is a fairly bright yellow and it makes me feel like the flavour of this candy is going to be strong, and maybe a just a little sour. It’s bright and it’s fun.

Orange – The orange is well… orange. It’s kind of a no brainer to make this orange, but I feel like it could have been just a little bit deeper an orange colour. It doesn’t make me think of fruit explosion, just simple orange.

Cherry – My memories of cherry Starburst have them being much deeper in colour than these are. Sure, they seem red in colour, but similar to the orange, the red just doesn’t seem to jump out at me.

Strawberry – This pink seems like it’s kind of muted. It seems like this should be a strawberry and cream flavour, and not just strawberry. I think that there are deeper or brighter pinks available to use in candy colouring. I just feel like this colour of pink reminds me of an un-ripened strawberry, and not a juicy ripe one.


Cherry – When I started the idea of writing this article, I kept telling myself to keep an open mind, and look at each flavour with fresh eyes. I kept remembering cherry as being my favourite flavour as a kid, but I wanted to give the other flavours a chance. I tried, I really did, but these cherry Starbursts are really the best of the best in the original Starburst lineup.

Orange – Orange is never my favourite flavour, but it’s also the flavour that I never hate either. I always think of it as middle of the road. It's a fine flavour, but it's not impressive, or that much different than any other orange flavoured candy out there. I’m enjoying this Starburst, but it’s not wowing me.
Strawberry – It’s in my nature to like red candies more than the others, with the exception of watermelon and red apple flavoured candies. This one on the other hand doesn’t really stand up to some of the others. I feel like they’re really watering the flavour down with some kind of creamy flavour. If they called it a strawberry and cream Starburst, I’d probably like it more, but then it wouldn’t fit into this collection of flavours.

Lemon – I’m kind of surprised but I don’t really like the lemon flavoured Starburst. I feel like there’s something missing, something like a zing of flavour. I think if the lemon was just a little more tart it would taste a little bit better. For now, it just tastes like it’s trying to be flavourful, but it just stops short.

How the Flavour Compares to the Real Fruit

Orange – The problem with orange candies, and that includes these Starbursts, is that there’s a reference as old as time that we can relate to the flavour, Tang. Orange has been one of the fruit flavours that they’ve been manufacturing the longest, and rather than improve it, there seems to be an acceptance of this fairly fake flavour as being orange. If you think about it, there is something kind of orange about it, but I don’t think I could call it one hundred percent orange.
Lemon – This lemon Starburst tastes almost nothing like a lemon. This is probably a good thing since lemons are so sour that it’s hard for most people to enjoy the flavour. This tastes more like a candy with a slight essence of fake lemon flavour.

Cherry – These fall into a very unique category, they don’t really taste like any kind of real cherry, but I associate the flavour that they are with cherries. It’s a strong fruity flavour that for some reason I would call cherry, but compared to real cherries, it’s not that close. It’s more like a fruit punch than anything else.

Strawberry – This taste nothing like strawberries at all. It tastes like some kind of creamy, but slightly sour fruit punch. I would have a hard time picking this flavour out as Strawberry unless I’m given the context that I’m eating Starbursts (because this flavour is so connected to strawberry Starburst).

Other People’s Opinions

In order to find out which Starburst people liked the most, I informally asked people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, which one they liked most. I eliminated all those who just picked one or two flavours, as that would skew the results. I will say that most people who only voted on one flavour voted for Cherry, so I guess that says something about people who like Cherry Starbursts the most. Had they actually answered the question in full, it might have changed the results of this as well. Either way, here’s the list of favourite Starburst flavours as voted by you… or at the very least people.

Strawberry – 56 points – Only one person voted strawberry as their least favourite.

Cherry – 51 points

Lemon – 39 points

Orange – 34 points - No one voted orange as their favourite.


I think I’m most surprised by how much I didn’t like the strawberry Starbursts, I really thought they would rank second for me in most cases. This is truly a case where they don’t taste like what I remember. I find this even more amazing considering how much people in my pole liked the strawberry Starburst. I really thought cherry was going to win that pole, but it turns out people have very different tastes than I thought.

I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Starburst do not taste like any kind of real fruit, however they do taste like something special. Even the worst flavour of Starburst still tastes great, even if it doesn’t taste like lemons at all.


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