- from 5 Senses
What is your favorite food? Is it cold, smooth, creamy chocolate ice cream? Or is it a crunchy, salty dill pickle? Maybe you love potato chips or a sweet, tart, crunchy green apple.
Even fussy eaters usually want to try different tastes. No one would want to eat the same five foods over and over again. But in reality, there are only five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (savory). The differences we taste in foods are mostly differences in smell. Some scientists say 80 percent of taste is really smell. You may notice this when you have a cold. A cold makes the mucus membranes in your nose swell up. That reduces your ability to smell. So that makes it hard to taste what you are eating.
But smell is not the only sense we use when tasting food. Through touch, we are aware of texture and temperature. We also hear the sound food makes as we chew it. Seeing food is part of enjoying it. When food of many colors is arranged nicely on a plate, it looks tasty. A gray blob of mush in a bowl does not. So, all five senses help you savor the flavor of the food your body needs.