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Scientists Say They've Found a Sixth Taste

Call it 'starchy'

(Newser) - Wondering why a bread bowl full of pasta with fries on the side sounds like it would really hit the spot right now? It could be a heretofore unknown sixth taste that a group of scientists claims to have discovered, Science Alert reports. Up until now, the five tastes humans... More »

Music Can Help You Enjoy Your Beer Even More

If you like the song, you'll probably like the brew

(Newser) - Some scientists get to have all the fun, especially those who live in the land of beer. A team of researchers led by Dr. Felipe Reinoso Cavalho of Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium set up an experiment to investigate whether music and packaging affect one's perception of taste. The... More »

Our Olive Oil Is Often Rancid, and We Don't Even Know It

'We call the US the world’s dumping ground for rancid and defective olive oil'

(Newser) - As consumers, we pay a price for extra virgin olive oil—and not just literally. The oil is extracted naturally from the first press of the olives, as opposed to using heat or chemicals. It's basically olive juice, reports Mother Nature News , and it must have zero defects. But... More »

So You Think You Can Tell Bourbon From Rye?

The whiskeys can differ very subtly by their 'mash bill'

(Newser) - The study may be small, but researchers at Drexel University have opened an inquiry into whether modern bourbons and ryes—both types of whiskey—are different enough to be discernible to the average taster, and they've come back with a resounding "no." Reporting in the Journal of ... More »

The Mice Have Spoken: Taste Is an Illusion

Scientists turn sense of taste on and off by manipulating brain cells: study

(Newser) - That bitter tincture a bunch of mice in a Columbia University lab recently gagged on could have been sweet nectar, or even just plain water. Why they took issue with the taste: For a study published in the journal Nature , scientists fiddled with their brain cells to make them think... More »

Scientists: Here's What Fat Truly Tastes Like

It's in a class all its own, dubbed oleogustus, and disgusting

(Newser) - Ponder the taste of fat for a minute. Is your mouth watering? It shouldn't be. While the closest you've probably come to eating pure fat was on an untrimmed steak, Purdue University researchers have isolated the taste of fat for the first time—and folks, it isn't... More »

Penguins Can't Taste the Fish They Eat

Their sense of taste is very limited

(Newser) - Penguins, it seems, can't really taste their dinners. They aren't able to pick up on sweetness, bitterness, or a meaty flavor known as umami, a study finds. Instead, they can only taste sourness and saltiness, the BBC reports. That sets them apart from other birds, most of which... More »

Four Basic Taste Types? Think Again

Salty, sweet, bitter, sour don't even begin to account for basic taste types

(Newser) - Most of us have been taught that salty, sweet, sour, and bitter (that last one added by Greek philosopher Democritus a few thousand years ago) make up the four building blocks of taste. But since the "savory" taste (also called umami) was added as a fifth taste about a... More »

Is Imported Nutella Really Different?

A little, in terms of taste and texture, a Post reporter finds; maybe make your own?

(Newser) - If you ever visit gourmet grocers or Italian markets, you've probably seen it: Imported Nutella, straight from Italy, sold in a glass jar at multiple times the price of the Canadian-made stuff found in most US supermarkets. And perhaps you've wondered: Is it really any different? Many devotees... More »

Why Does Brushing Make Food Taste Terrible?

Its chemicals mess with your tastebuds

(Newser) - Why does brushing your teeth ruin the taste of food you eat afterward? It's not about the mint taste interfering with your orange juice. In fact, it has to do with two chemicals in the paste, writes Daven Hiskey at Today I Found Out . Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium... More »

Why Supermarket Tomatoes Have No Taste

Gene bred into them to help in harvesting hurts flavor

(Newser) - A meteor might explain why tomatoes are red , but humans are to blame for why they often have no taste. Specifically, the mass-produced ones found in the supermarket, notes ScienceNow . Researchers led by a team at UC Davis think they've figured out a key part of the problem: Big... More »

Why Your Lukewarm Coffee Sucks

It could be down to how our taste buds work

(Newser) - Coffee's great hot, and it's tasty iced—but anything in between is just disgusting. While there isn't a ton of concrete research into why that is, experts provide Life's Little Mysteries with three plausible theories. First: It could be because of the way our taste buds... More »

Why Airline Food Is So Bland

Background noise diminishes sense of taste

(Newser) - Airline food is notoriously bland because of engine noise, not a lack of spice, according to new research. Volunteers who ate sweet or salty foods while listening to silence through headphones found the flavors more intense than a group of volunteers who heard white noise. The latter group found the... More »

Keep That Designer Coffee Away From Me

Some people prefer the cheap stuff

(Newser) - Sadie Stein tried very hard to become a member of the coffee elite. First she went to the new "coffee meccas" in New York City, where she "drank cup after ceremoniously-prepared amber cup, even though I hated it." Then she attended a seminar on different roasts, hoping... More »

Scientists Discover New Taste—for Fat

Overweight people may be desensitized to fat taste

(Newser) - Scientists think they found a new taste sense, though it's probably one we should've found sooner: it's for fat. Researchers in New Zealand tested human subjects for the ability to taste fat and discovered varying levels of sensitivity to the taste. "We also found that those with a high... More »

Chocoholics Spurn American Cadbury

Many see right through US bars, actually made by Hershey

(Newser) - Serious chocolate fans responded warily to the news of Kraft's bid for Cadbury—especially in the US, where aficionados reject the domestic brand anyway. It’s made by Hershey, not the British firm itself, and that just won’t cut it for hardcore devotees of the British brand, the Wall ... More »

Lard: Good Fat at a Good Time

(Newser) - Now is lard’s time to shine, Regina Schrambling writes for Slate. “The redemption of lard is finally at hand because we live in a world where trendiness is next to godliness,” Schrambling reasons. “And lard hits all the right notes, especially if you euphemize it as... More »

Oktoberfest Brews Gotta Be 'Poundable'

A tasting panel names the best in Bavarian style

(Newser) - To wash down sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels, Oktoberfest beer must flow like a dinner wine: "Worthy of attention without demanding to be the center of attention," writes Eric Asimov in the New York Times. And with festive consumption measured in liters, it must also be "poundable."... More »

In Vino, Room for Interpretation

Despite study's hints, wine tasting remains a personal pursuit

(Newser) - That peppery flavor of Syrah? It comes from the same chemical that gives pepper its aroma, a recent study says. So sommeliers aren't making this stuff up: Wine bouquets actually have an empirical basis. But the compounds are tough to pin down because they change when mixed, and 20% of... More »

Wine Reviews: Taste the Pretension

Dry notes make snobs too boring to mock—almost

(Newser) - When wine lovers say they taste notes of cherries or hints of tobacco, “usually all I can detect is a whole lot of jackass,” Joel Stein writes in the LA Times . Wine dialogue has devolved into a meaningless string of obscure scents, Stein says. It’s boring—too... More »

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