Your tongue and parts of your mouth are covered with taste buds that detect the salty, sweet, sour, bitter and savory tastes of the food you eat. When you bite into a sugary treat, nerves attached to your taste buds send a message about the food's flavor to your brain. Once your brain receives the message, you notice the sweet taste of the delicious food. Yummy!
Tiny pieces of your food called molecules also play an important part in the tasting process. Sugar molecules have a special shape that help your tongue to notice their sweetness. Did you ever imagine that the shape of tiny bits of food helped to give it taste?!
Taste isn’t the only sense that makes your meals enjoyable. Your sense of smell also helps you experience the taste of the food, so smelling the sweetness of a ripe peach may actually make it taste more delicious! Bon Appetit!
ExplorationThe next time you take a bite of your meal, pay special attention to the tastes you experience. Many bites of food offer more than one taste! Can you notice sweetness? Bitterness? A salty taste? A sour taste? A savory taste? Meat, cheese and broth are examples of foods that offer savory flavors.
Enjoy the process of eating your food, and don’t forget to let the aromas of the treats on your plate make your dining all the more enjoyable!
Sources & links
“Taste Disorders.” NIDCD. National Institutes of Health. 22 July 2010. Anissimov, Michael. “What Makes Sugar Sweet?” Wisegeek. Conjecture Corporation. 22 July 2010. Binns, Cory. “What Makes Food Taste Sweet?” Life’s Little Mysteries. 23 Mar. 2010. TechMediaNetwork. 22 July 2010.