- from 5 Senses
What is your favorite food? Is it cold, smooth, creamy chocolate ice cream that melts in your mouth? Or is it a crunchy, salty, sour dill pickle? Maybe you crave crisp potato chips or the sweet tartness of a crunchy green apple.
Even so-called fussy eaters usually seek a variety of taste sensations. No one would voluntarily eat the same five foods over and over again. But in reality, there are only five basic tastes. They are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (savory). The differences we detect among foods are, for the most part, differences in smell. In fact, some scientists say that 80 percent of taste is really smell. You may realize this when you have a cold. A cold makes the mucus membranes in your nose swell up and greatly reduces your ability to smell. This in turn affects your ability to taste what you are eating.
But smell is not the only sensation that’s part of the experience we call tasting. Through touch, we are aware of the texture and temperature of food. We also hear the sound food makes as we chew it. The sense of sight is part of appreciating food. When food of different colors is arranged nicely on a plate, it attracts us. A gray blob of mush thrown into a bowl does not attract us. So in a way, all five senses help you enjoy the flavor of the food your body needs.