How We Experience Taste

How We Experience Taste

Our taste buds contain cells that let us distinguish between sour, salty, bitter and sweet sensations. Taste buds are normally associated with our tongues, however the insides of our cheeks and the roofs of our mouths also contain taste buds, which means that tasting food is truly a whole mouth experience.

The way in which we experience taste is a function of the array and number of taste buds in our mouths, and this is down to our genetics and heredity. This is the reason that a certain food can taste delicious to one person, but can be foul tasting to somebody else. This is also the reason why the same family members can have very similar preferences with their food.

On average, a persons tongue contains 184 taste buds per square centimeter, although certain people, who are known as nontasters, only have 96 taste buds. Also some people, who are usually women, are known as supertasters, as they can have tongues that contain as much as 425 taste buds per square centimeter. Supertasters are very much in demand within the food industry, where a companies reputation relies on the consistency of taste.

It is not all sweetness and light being a supertaster though, since they also have a higher number of pain receptors, which means they tend to find it painful to eat hot or spicy food.

Despite the number of spices that are available today, the western world have become used to the artificial tastes found in preservatives. We are so used to packaged convenience food that foods with bad odors and stale tastes pass right by us. As long as it can be used in a microwave and be ready in a couple of minutes, we will usually buy it.

When it comes to food, it is good to remember that fresh food is the best food, and ignore what they say about food that is good for you tasting awful, as it is simply not true.