All About Taste

Do you ever wonder why some people hate the food that you love and vice versa? The number of times during your life where you'll be asked 'how can you not possibly like it?!' is unreal. All animals like specific foods, for example, we give dogs bones or dog food, then there's cat food and birds like worms and seeds. So why do we not always like the food we're given? We're about to find out. 

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People experience bitter flavours differently because the combination of bitter receptor genes varies in each person. Almost everyone lacks the ability to detect at least one scent which means that the chemical that gives chocolate the distinctive smell may strike as either offensive or earthy. Or you may be one of the 25% that cannot smell it at all. 

Personal Experience 

Babies are pre-exposed to liking certain foods due to what their Mother ate during pregnancy and later on when breastfeeding. This is why it's important for a mother to expose their children to a wide range of foods and it can take place before they've even entered the world. Go ahead and treat your tot to some Gookie Dough! I'm sure they'll thank you later on. 

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Of course, this one is obvious. Not many people enjoy bitter or spicy foods when they first try them but they can create a tolerance and even crave them due to the exposure to these foods. 

The Science 

People who have a lot of papillae (bumps on the tongue and tastebuds) often find flavours overwhelming compared to those who have less. Those who have less will to go for spicy, sour and bitter foods. It's not always about papillae, it also has to do with our taste buds ability to detect different molecules. Our brains can recognise five tastes which are bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savoury. The different sensitivity to bitterness can be down to evolutionary pressures in different parts of the world. For example, most toxic plants taste bitter. Think about it this way, most people don't like beer the first time they try it due to its strength. 

Blown your mind yet? Leave your thoughts in the comments and let us know if you have any facts! *Credit: Popular Science*