What a better way to kick off National Nutrition Month than to help you find your favorite tastes- sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and umami! Check out the Eat Well blog each week as we highlight all 5 flavors.
We all have our personal likes and dislikes in terms of taste- some love spicy food while others hate bitter foods, etc. and believe it or not you may not think you like a taste but, what you are enjoying is a flavor. A flavor is the combination of multiple tastes since, often they can enhance and/or complement each other.
Ever wonder how exactly we can taste the food we eat? Some people may think the bumps on your tongue are your taste buds but, there about 6 taste buds deep in the tissue of those bumps that help you taste. Those taste buds allow you to distinguish between sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and umami.
Another interesting fact is that not everybody has the same number of taste buds which can help explain why some people really don’t like bitter tasting foods and vegetables. Those people who do not like bitter foods can possibly be supertasters which means that they have thousands more taste buds on average so, they taste everything more intensely.
So, why do we need taste buds? Taste buds are an important part in keeping us safe! They help distinguish if food is toxic or spoiled and send signals to our brain to tell us not to eat those foods. Bitter foods usually mean a food is toxic which is why many of us may not like those items. On the other hand, we all know the joy and pleasure that tasting foods creates for us too! Sweet foods have sugar in them which is the preferred fuel source for our brain, which is why they are so pleasant to eat.
When it comes to trying something new, our taste buds are constantly changing and regenerating, So, don’t be afraid to try new foods every once in a while, you may like them! Combinations of flavors adds to the depth of a dish and can help sway your preferences. As we go forward in the month, you’ll learn more about each specific taste and how to combine them to make more enjoyable flavors!