These 8 facts about your sense of taste will have you appreciating your next meal even more!
1. Your taste buds aren't just on your tongue; they're on the roof, cheeks and back of your mouth.
2. Eighty percent of what we experience as taste is actually smell.
3. You can't taste what your saliva can't dissolve: Saliva dissolves the chemicals in food allowing the receptors on your taste buds to detect taste. Without it, obviously, food is tasteless. To see (or taste) for yourself, dry your tongue with a paper towel and attempt to taste dry foods consisting of sugar and salt. It'll be as if you were devoid of the sense altogether!
4. As taste senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic tastes are classified as either aversive or appetitive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on our bodies. Sweetness helps to identify energy-rich foods, while bitterness serves as a warning sign of poisons
5. Taste perception fades with age; we lose almost half of our taste receptors by the time we turn 20!
6. Ageusia is the complete loss of taste. The opposite, hypergeusia, is a heightened sense of taste.
7. Flies and butterflieshave taste organs on their feet, so they can taste anything they land on. Catfish have taste organs across their entire bodies.
8. Memories can affect taste! Recalling a positive memory about eating a certain food will make a present experience with it more enjoyable.