Jan 5, 2018

Tongue and Taste Myth

Your tongue does not have independent zones for different types of flavor, sweetness, or saltiness. The confusion comes from the mis-translation of a German study. Actually all of the tongue is more or less equally capable of detecting different flavors, although there are different patterns of strength.

What is generally categorized as “taste” is basically a bundle of different sensations. It is not only the qualities of taste perceived by the tongue, but also the smell, texture, and temperature of food.
Incidentally, “hot” or “spicy” is often described as a taste. Technically, this is just a pain signal sent by the nerves that transmit touch and temperature sensations. The substance “capsaicin” in foods seasoned with chili causes a sensation of pain and heat.