Perhaps one of the first things you learned in kindergarten was that you had five senses: sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch. But the actual number is probably way more than that, maybe in the 30s. And there’s a whole lot we don’t know about the senses that we do have.
There was a time not so long ago when, for fun, or just for something to do, millions of Americans would tune in to watch non-actors eat worms for cash. It felt good, watching strangers wreck their intestines. Things might not have been going your way, but at least you weren’t competitively chewing cockroaches on…
Coffee seems to be the most overstudied beverage; seemingly every day we’re bombarded with another study about it causing or curing cancer. But surprisingly, there are plenty of scientists who don’t really understand its many effects. In fact, it may even be changing the way we taste all the other things we eat in a…
Most foodies warn against storing tomatoes in the fridge, saying it saps them of their flavor. New research confirms this culinary opinion, revealing the way cold temperatures prevent critical flavor-enhancing genes from doing their job.
There’s a new form of chocolate out there that wants to replace candy as we know it. The reason it’s not going to is the same reason all substitute foods keep failing to deliver on their promises: Accurately replicating food is almost impossible.
Winemaking is always an exercise in uncertainty. You don’t really know just what the wine will taste like until the very end of the process, which is sometimes decades long. A new technique, however, could help predict what wine will taste like before it’s even made.
Scientists assumed there is just a single type of taste receptor on the tongue responsible for our perception of sweetness. Now researchers from Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that those cells also contain gut enzymes, which contribute to sweet tastes. They describe their findings in a new paper published…
Recently, it seems like food dye is making a comeback in a big way, and not just one dye—all of them. Rainbow colored bagels, grilled cheeses, pizzas, and even lattes have circulated the internet as the latest food trend. Is it just harmless novelty, or is there more to these culinary monstrosities?
Is that friend who always very politely turns down your offers for cream or sugar very possibly hiding a dark secret, as haters around the internet have been insisting recently? No, probably not—but here’s why some people are saying taking your coffee black means you’re more likely to be a psychopath.
Taste receptors don’t only exist in your mouth. You can find them all over your body, including your stomach, your lungs, and your colon. Why? It turns out the taste receptors are much more versatile tools than we suppose.
There are five acknowledged tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and (slightly more controversially) umami. For awhile now, researchers have suggested the existence of a sixth taste: fat. Now, a new study has researchers saying they may have finally isolated it—and they’ve given it a name: oleogustus.
Everybody has seen the tongue map – that little diagram of the tongue with different sections neatly cordoned off for different taste receptors. Sweet in the front, salty and sour on the sides and bitter at the back.
I’m writing this seated on a plane heading to San Francisco. We’ve been in the air for under an hour, and the drink cart is just starting to make its way down the aisle. As the cart rolls nearer I’m forced to decide what drink I’ll be having. Since the cups are miniscule, and the liquid is largely displaced by ice…
If your morning brew tastes more bitter than usual, you may want to consider changing the color of your mug instead of adding more sugar.
Orange juice is many things: A fine source of Vitamin C, easy to get ahold of, and a pretty decent accompaniment to most items in the pantheon of great breakfast foods. What it is not at all, however, is a good thing to drink right after brushing your teeth.
Wine tasting notes are famous for their verbal flourishes—for example, "kirsch, dried beef and baker's chocolate,"—but the liquid is ultimately just a collection of molecules, some sour, some bitter, some dry. And we're getting better at quantifying taste. A newly developed artificial tongue uses the very proteins…
Cat owners may claim that their pets love ice cream and doughnuts, but it's the fat they enjoy. The taste receptor for sweet is encoded in two genes. In cats, a chance mutation appears to have broken one of these genes. That's why tigers, lions, and your kitty will never have a sweet tooth.
If you've ever had a dog that was a particularly finicky eater or marveled at just how appetizing they seem to find those endless bowls of kibble, you've probably wondered: Just how sensitive is a dog's sense of taste?
Tangents is an occasional collection of short, lightly annotated mentions of sound-related activities.