Taste and Steak Pefection
First posted 3 July 2003 at 1840 GMT
Last updated 30 November 2003 at 1724 GMT
LOS ANGELES, California — A person must have a developed sense of
taste in order to recognize and appreciate steak perfection.
Very few individuals have both the talent and the experience to
recognize subtle differences in taste. This section will
summarize what a person should do in order to imporve the sense of
Sometimes, people use the word taste to mean the entire
experience, including the senses for the tongue, the senses for the
nose, and even the senses for the eyes. More properly speaking,
however, taste means only the sensation of food on the tongue --
Flavor is the word which means the
combination of taste, smell and touch.
"Flavor is a complex mixture of
sensory input composed of taste (gustation), smell (olfaction) and the
tactile sensation of food as it is being munched, a characteristic that
food scientists often term "mouth-feel". Scientific American.
Thus, in a technical sense taste is not synonymous with flavor
but instead means the sensations arising from the taste cells in the
mouth. An accompanying story describes
more about taste, with illustrations.
Four basic tastes
There are four basic tastes -- the senses that are
detected by the tongue alone:
(Some scientists recently proposed that a fifth taste
exists, called umami, and refers to a "meaty" or
"savory" sensation, as described in an accompanying
Taste map is wrong
Scientists have discovered that the traditional map of
the tongue is wrong. The traditional map shows the sweet receptors
at the front, the salt receptors along the side, etc. Now,
however, scientists have shown that all taste cells detect all four (or
five) basic tastes. SA.