For years, we’ve been under the impression there was only 5 tastes on the human pallet, but it’s looking like we’ve overlooked a major one.
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First, there was four: sweet, salty, spicy and bitter. Then there was 5, when Unami (not Unagi, Ross Geller enthusiasts) and we thought that we were pretty much done.
But No. Scientists have discovered that there’s a sixth flavour we can detect on the tongue, and that’s the complex carbohydrate starch. To you and me starch is found in cuisine across the world, from rice in Asia, to naan bread in India, to your nan’s better-than-sex Yorkshire puddings here in the UK.
Scientists from Oregon State University found this obviously suspicious, and decided to investigate. Head researcher Juyun Lim got subjects to taste several starch like solutions, whilst blocking all taste receptors on the tongue, including sweet, which has long been theorised as what we’re really tasting when tucking into our cheesy chips after a monster sesh. The results proved otherwise, as Lim Summarises:
Asians would say it was rice-like, while Caucasians described it as bread-like or pasta-like. It’s like eating flour.
Revolutionary? No? I didn’t think so, either. Obviously flour has its own flavour. It tastes of flour. Bu, apparently it does explain our obsession with complex carbs and why they’re such an addictive staple in our diets.
This research opens the door to the idea that we taste a lot more subtly than first imagined. From the odd tang of carbonated drinks, to the fishy amino acids in, well, fish, it’s looking like the human tongue is a lot more complex than we first thought. After all, it would explain why, after 5 minutes of eating a meal deal pasta pot it tastes of iron aluminium shavings? Or is that just me?
Now check out these fucked up fast food items from South East Asia.