Mmmmm-mmmm! The reason you can taste is because of the combination of the work done by your taste buds and your nose. When you eat something, it’s the job of these two body parts to send messages to your brain about the flavors in your food!
The main things people taste are usually broken down into the categories of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Recently, a fifth category has also been recognized. It’s known as “umami,” and it describes special flavors that are savory and deep, such as soy sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and certain cheeses and meats.
Certain flavors that we can taste are often said to be strongest on certain parts of the tongue. According to this idea, sweet and salty are tasted closer to the front of your tongue, while sour is on the sides and bitter is in the back!
Sources & links
“Taste Buds.” Palo Alto Medical Foundation. 27 Oct. 2009 Krulwich, Robert. “Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter… and Umami.” 5 Nov. 2007. National Public Radio. 27 Oct. 2009 “Taste and Smell.” First Human Body Encyclopedia. Ed. Penny Smith. 1 vol. New York: DK Publishing Inc., 2005. 36-37.