What is taste, really? Some synapses firing in your brain when stuff goes in your mouth? Yeah, I’m no biologist, sorry, and I find the sense of taste to be quite a mystery. I mean, sure, it’s a product of evolution, just like our eyes, but the inner workings of different flavors still boggle the minds of top scientists. So, here are 6 succulent facts about taste!
1. Does Expensive Wine Taste Better?
Short answer is – yes, but only when you know it’s expensive. You see, if your brain thinks you’re drinking a $200 bottle of wine, even if it’s a cheap $5 knock-off, you neurons will get more excited and the wine will taste like heaven. This is also true for some other drinks, as long as you hype them up for your guests.
2. Tasty Depression Treatment
Are you feeling depressed? I hope not, but in case you are, know that some flavors can help you feel better! Basically, when you eat crappy bland food – you’re not helping your depression. Instead, try colorful meals with fresh new flavors. Just don’t go for comfort food, because depression is known to dull the fatty flavors, making you grow bigger without realizing it.
3. How Does Water Taste?
Again, short answer – it’s flavorless, as it should be. But sometimes the minerals and chemicals in tap water, or coffee residue in your unwashed cup will change the flavor. Too bad the scientists disagree. There’s a theory that since we’re products of evolution, and your ancestors depended heavily on clean(ish) water, there must be some sort of a mechanism telling our bodies that the water is fine, and when we should stop drinking, which in turn means that our taste buds know the taste of water. But I’m not sold on that theory, for some reason.
4. Are There Taste Buds In Your Intestines?
Can you guess the short answer by now? Yes, we do have taste buds in our guts! But, hold on, it’s not as crappy as it sounds. Those gut buds don’t actually taste the flavors, but instead fire off a signal to our brain that you’ve just ate something, and that it’s time to process the soon-to-be fecal remains! Which means that if those taste buds are faulty – you’re going to eat more and gain weight.
5. A Berry That Deceives Your Taste Buds
Imagine tasting vinegar. Now imagine that vinegar tastes like the sweetest spoon of sugar, you’ve ever tasted. To get from EWW to WOW, all you need is this small red berry from West Africa. The name of this miracle (no joke) fruit is Synsepalum dulcificum. Basically, this bland-tasting berry somehow switches sour and sweet flavors for you, so with this baby you can chug fresh lemon juice like it’s regular water!
6. People Who Taste Words
Synesthesia is a rare neurological phenomenon that basically rewires your sense. It is a perceptual phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second pathway. (Enough science!) So you can hear colors, see music, and, apparently, taste words, which is the rarest of them all. Funny thing is, when the synesthets (people with synesthesia) were given new words, they could recall their unique “flavor” months after the fact, but the words like sugar, or lemon actually tasted as those things. It’s freaking mind-blowing how complicated our brains are.