Sour Puss

Artist Kate Alexandrite staged these photographic portraits during “Sweet N Sour” citrus tastings at California Citrus State Historic Park on February 26 and March 26, 2017. Of the 89 varieties of citrus in the park, hundreds of brave souls bit into the sourest of them all and showed us their sourest expressions.

Why do people close their eyes and make a face when they taste certain flavors? Some say it is evolutionary, a way to keep us from eating spoiled or poisonous food. Scientists also explain that sour flavors open hydrogen ions on our taste buds, which fire off a message straight to our brains. So, the face you make is a way to share your reaction with those watching. Maybe that’s why we smile back in laughter and empathy. Like what you see? Show us your sour puss!

If you are a Sour Puss who had your photo taken at one of these events, please write to us at to request a digital copy.

Sour Puss was conceived by Cathy Gudis and Kate Alexandrite, and curated by the Citrus Power Crew. Select images from the series adorn the banners hanging throughout the Park.