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The Tasty Science of Favorite Foods

The Tasty Science of Favorite Foods


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Everyone is born with a preference for sweet, which provides energy, and an aversion to bitter and sour, which may indicate poisonous or unripe food. We are also geared to like fatty and salty foods, which provide necessary minerals and calories. However, bitter tastebuds genetically differ for individuals, affecting which foods seem delicious or disgusting to our individual taste buds.

Most of what makes different tastes seem unique is actually the smell of the foods. There are only a few types of taste buds, but the olfactory senses are more diverse and differentiate subtle smells as we eat. Everyone can smell all but one scent (a different scent for everyone), and this missing smell can make or break your love for the food in question. This may explain why some people like pungent smelling food; they can’t smell it! Olfactory senses also genetically differ, so each of us tastes food differently.

Photo by Kavitha George

Some people called “super-tasters” have more taste buds than average, while other people called “sub-tasters” have fewer. Super-tasters like milder foods because they can taste more from them, while extremely seasoned and flavorful foods can be overwhelming. Sub-tasters are just the opposite and tend to like heavily seasoned and usually spicier foods.

Photo by Anastasia Yip

Men are also more likely to crave salty, savory foods, while women crave more sweets. Although this seems to correlate with biological differences between men and women, it is also culturally driven. Men in the US are geared to like the “manly” meats because they will provide more protein – and supposedly build more muscle – while women are geared to “feminine” foods like vegetables that supposedly allow women to keep their “girlish figures.”

Photo by Kavitha George

What your mother ate (or didn’t eat) during her pregnancy also plays a role. As a baby, you prefer food that you were exposed to in the womb. Up until toddlerhood, babies eat almost anything. Then, pickiness sets in for most kids, and they refuse to try new food.

The catch? We learn to like foods that we are repeatedly exposed to. Many parents stop trying to get their kids to eat foods that the kids claim they hate. In reality, kids and even adults will learn to like the food after enough exposure. Slowly exposing kids to friendlier versions, such as broccoli covered in butter, will eventually encourage kids to like the food by itself or in other dishes.

Interested in more? Check out the articles below:

  • Psychology of Hating Food
  • Tastebuds are Just One Reason Why We Love Some Foods and Hate Others
  • Why Does Some Food Taste Bad to Some People and Good to Others?

The post The Tasty Science of Favorite Foods appeared first on Spoon University.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Why Your Favorite Food Doesn't Taste Good

Think of your favorite food. Maybe it's pizza, maybe it's pasta. Perhaps it's ice cream or enchiladas.

Now imagine that your favorite food is right in front of you. Its tantalizing aroma wafts to your nostrils, making your mouth water in anticipation of masticating. The sublime scent is a tease, but a relishing one, because you know that the dish from which it originates is at your mercy, a mercy that always ends happily with chewing and swallowing.

Enough
. Utensil in hand, you reach forward and delicately pick up a portion of that which you unabashedly crave. Excitement grows as you inch the morsel to closer and closer to your mouth, until finally. *MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH.*

The explosion of flavor cannot be contained a sensory overload. It erupts from your mouth and cracks a smile upon your face. But even that isn't enough to truly portray your sheer, orgasmic joy.

"This. tastes. amazing!" you exuberantly proclaim to the ground below, the world around, and the heavens above.

But you're wrong. It does not taste good. Allow me to explain.

First off, taste is not what you think it is. Taste is commonly considered to be the sensation of flavor within the mouth, but technically, it's the sensation produced when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste bud receptors. The difference seems minute and merely semantic, but it really isn't. Perceiving flavor is complex taste is incredibly basic.

Taste buds -- miniscule flask-like structures found primarily on the tongue and in the esophagus -- are known to detect five distinct tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, umami (savory), and sour. (Fat might be the sixth taste.) These sensations, interpreted by the brain, serve only to produce aversive or appetitive responses. Fundamentally, taste tells us what we should and shouldn't eat.

For example, umami and sweet -- both appetitive tastes -- often indicate that the food we're eating is nutrient dense and thus that we should eat more. Fruit, for example, is sweet and sugary, and our taste buds and brain pair-up to say, "Eat more!"

On the other hand, bitter and sour tastes often indicate toxicity and acidity, respectively, sending the opposite message: "Don't eat this, it could be dangerous!" For example, alcohol, which is both debilitating and toxic, gives off a bitter, displeasing taste, telling us that we probably shouldn't drink a lot of it (a bodily message that is frequently ignored).

So if taste buds only partially contribute to the perception of flavor, then what is the primary detector? The answer, of course, is your second sense of smell. That's right, we have two.

The first, most well-known type of smell is termed orthonasal. It's what happens when we sniff environmental odors, like the sultry scent of perfume or the dastardly stench emanating from the trash bin. Air flows in our nostrils from an external source and eventually wafts past the approximately six million olfactory cells in our olfactory epithelium, which detect odors.

Our second, lesser known sense of smell is called retronasal smell. This is where almost all of our flavor perception -- what we commonly know as taste -- comes from. When we exhale while eating, the odor from the food in our mouth travels through our internal nares and past the same olfactory receptors that smelled the food externally before we ate it.

According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, since retronasal smells are experienced along with a myriad of mouth sensations in

the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaws, our brains "refer" them to our mouths, lending to the ubiquitous, incorrect notion that flavor is produced by the taste buds.

An excellent experiment to showcase how little our taste buds actually contribute to flavor perception is to obstruct your retronasal sense of smell. Do this by simply holding your nose while eating. You'll swiftly realize your taste bud's paltry contribution to sensing flavor, because you'll only be able to detect the fundamental sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour tastes.

That's why your favorite food really doesn't taste good. It actually smells good.


Watch the video: Ich habe noch nie so leckere Pasta mit Hühnchen gegessen! Jeder wird nach dem Rezept fragen! # 208 (May 2022).