There may be a sixth basic taste: starchiness


Originally published at:


This is a post that will really stick to your ribs.


“Other researchers’ candidates for a sixth basic taste include fat…”

There’s a big butt joke in there somewhere…


There’s a “Yo’ mama” joke in there somewhere…


In school we were taught there were four basic tastes. Then there were five. Now there are six.

I have a bad feeling where this is headed.


Yeah, we were taught the map of the tongue as well, never mind that it was complete nonsense.


Making fun of foriegn sounding words isn’t just childish, it also makes you sound kind of racist as well.


What if there are an infinite number of tastes?


There are only 5 or 6 tastes that taste good. There are other ones that do not like “metallic”, “medicine-ey”, and “awful”. Those are separate tastes, but you just don’t want to encounter them. (“rotten” and “spoiled” might be a part of that list.)


Just wait until the next time I reply “Gesundheit!” to a word that sounds like a sneeze!


Well worth the read


“Unfortunately for YOU, taste scientists, soon the world will never taste your so-called ‘sixth flavor’ AH HA HA HA HA HA”

– fucking anti-carb trend.


I seem to have found a new favorite synonym for gravy.


I will volunteer to taste all the starches to confirm this.


The map is nonsense, but what makes something a basic taste is that you can perceive it using only your tongue.

Are examples that people without a sense of smell can’t taste. Most of us only lack smell when we have a congested or pinched nose, but certain medical conditions can make it more permanently problematic.


They also told us that there are five senses, but there are probably at least twenty. Proprioception is a sense, an ever-changing map of where the parts of your body are in relation to one another, which is why you can reliably touch your nose with your eyes closed, and in fact why you can walk. Hunger and thirst are senses, and fullness is another (there are stretch receptors in your stomach, as well as your skeletal muscles). Touch is a constellation of related but different senses: pain, pressure, heat, and itching all have their own pathways. It’s amazingly complicated.


Is this really true? I have a bad chronic itchy skin condition but it (intuitively and unscientifically) feels like just a lower degree of pain. Pressure and heat, when dialed up, also turn into pain. Are there discrete physical nerve paths that somehow overlap? Or do they overlap in the brain where the perception is perceived?


Funny you should ask, because just yesterday I was reading a New Yorker article on the subject, and the researchers said that pain and itch are definitely different pathways.

“You can trade pain for itch, Dong points out: that’s why mice and men both scratch. But it won’t work the other way around: you can pain your itch, but you can’t itch your pain. A signature of itch is that it’s specific to the skin. Your bones can ache, but they can’t itch.”


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