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Note-by-Note CookingThe Future of Food$
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Hervé This

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164863

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164863.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021



(p.114) Three Taste
Note-by-Note Cooking

Hervé This

, M.B. DeBevoise
Columbia University Press

This chapter argues that the familiar map of taste-receptor areas on the tongue given in various educational books is false, and explains errors concerning the theory of four tastes: salty, sweet, acid, and bitter. Human beings perceive various tastes differently. We only have to put a few drops of sapid solution on different parts of the tongue to see that the taste areas changes from person to person. When a fairly large number of people were invited to stick their tongues in a glass of sweetened water, only 40 percent of them sensed a sweet taste in the tip of the tongue. The chapter concludes that there needs to be a new vocabulary of taste that goes beyond the worn-out mantra “salty, sweet, sour, bitter,” which for many years now has been refuted both by personal experience and by sensory physiology.

Keywords:   taste-receptor, theory of four tastes, sensory physiology, tastes, sweet, sour, bitter, salty

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