You probably know about the five human senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
But did you also know that flavor is the result of a mixture of all five senses?
Smell plays the biggest role, through which we take in the aromas of foods. Try out the following: hold your nose shut while eating and you will notice, that you’re tasting “less”. The reason is simple: the aromas reach your organ in charge of smelling through the air (especially through the retronasal airway, where air passes through your mouth into the back of your nose), which only happens if your nose is open. If you have a cold, you’ll experience the same issue.
With the sense of taste we’re able to taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (glutamate), through the taste buds on our tongue.
Also the audio-visual impression (seeing and hearing) and the consistency (touch) play a big role in the taste experience. You’ll notice this trying out fun things like doing blind tasting with covered eyes (sight), ear buds (hearing) or trying out food in a different consistency (touch; for example, a mashed up water melon).