New Science Photo of the Day: 16

food
For those of you who know me, this one will be easy, so don't spoil it for everyone else. What is the difference between taste and flavor?
(These are fresh apricots that I stewed, and ate on toast with cream cheese.)

Click here for the answer:

Taste is sensed by the tastebuds of your tongue, and they only sense the basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami, and new research suggests we can also taste calcium. If you are not familiar with umami, it is the savory taste associated with soy sauce, mushrooms, and meat.

Flavor is the combination of taste, smell, and other sensations. To experience the difference between taste and flavor, hold your nose and take a bite of a favorite food. Continue holding your nose as you chew the food. What you are experiencing is mostly taste, and the food probably does not seem very appealing. Keep chewing, and release your nose. Suddenly, the food has all of the flavor that you expect. That added flavor is actually the smell of the food as air from your mouth moves up into the back of your nose.

This is an important difference for me because over the past few months, I have lost my sense of smell. Food basically tastes like it does when you hold your nose, only more so, since even holding your nose a little of the smell gets to the back of your nose. I don't know what caused my loss of smell, but it has been a very interesting and at times frustrating experience.