The human tongue can pick up a whirlwind of flavor. Whether good or bad, if we can taste it, we can sense it. Some may prefer sweet, while others crave salty. The reason why? It all has to do with how the tongue perceives taste.
Our tongue is filled with sensory organs called, you guessed it, taste buds. These taste buds are filled with receptors that tell the brain what we are tasting. If something doesn’t taste right, then our taste buds kick into survival mode telling our brain to spit it out. You may not have realized it, but it also signals when we are consuming crucial nutrients. And I thought it just told me that I really like cheese.
There is debate on how many tastes the human tongue can perceive, and until recently, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami were the basic five. Now, starchy is the sixth taste added to the list. When you eat your next meal, thank your taste buds for giving you these six extraordinary tastes.
Children, chocolate lovers, and anyone who must have desert knows all about this taste. Sweet can be detected when consuming foods containing sugar. A pleasurable taste, sugar is known for its indulging qualities. It recognized as source of energy, although too much can lead to a crash and burn.
Indulge in your sweet tooth with these killer drunk in the kitchen brownies.
At the other end of the spectrum from sweet, is salty. It reduces bitterness and brings out the flavor of our food. A pinch of salt can take a dish from bland to extraordinary. Salt helps balance our electrolytes and keep the body going. While too much salt can be bad for the health, the taste of salt ensures we are getting crucial minerals.
If you crave salty foods, try this rosemary sea salt pretzel.
Lemons, vinegar, and yogurt have that acid taste telling your tongue it’s sour. Sour can be desired or unwanted. For instance, when milk becomes sour, we know it’s no longer safe to consume. On the other hand, fermented milk known as kefir is consumed because it is sour.
Give your taste buds a treat, and sip on this blushing whiskey sour.
Hopheads and coffee lovers have a distinct pallet for the bitter taste. It’s that bite you get on the tongue that can either be pleasing, or tell you something is not right. While it has been associated with signaling danger, over time it has become a desired flavor.
If yo prefer a little bitterness, eat this citrus salad with bitter greens.
Umami is the fifth taste to join the team. Discovered by the Japanese, it can be detected by the presence of particular amino acids. While the word may sound confusing to some, savory describes it best. When your tongue detects savory, it is telling the brain you have eaten protein. No wonder it leaves us satisfied.
Savor this taste with these lucky Chinese New Year dumplings and noodles.
The newest member to the gang, starchy has joined the ranks of the basic flavors. If you enjoy potatoes and bread more than the average individual, then perhaps this is the reason. This new revelation means that we can in fact detect carbs as a specific taste.
Give in to your starchy tastes, and munch on these parmesan truffle fries.
What’s your favorite taste?