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About Taste

About Taste

How Taste Works

Umami, the 5th Taste

The Importance of Taste

The Role of Smell in What We Taste

Take The Jelly Bean Challenge!


Take The Jellybean Challenge!

The Jelly Bean Challenge!

You'll need three strongly flavored jellybeans (cherry, banana and coffee flavors work well).


Close your eyes (so you won't know which flavor you're eating), pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers, and pop a jellybean into your mouth. Chew it. Don't release your nostrils until you're done eating the jellybean completely.


With the second jellybean, do the same thing, but release your nostrils after you've chewed the jellybean a bit.


With the third jellybean, don't close your nostrils at all, just enjoy!

What did you notice? When you aren't able to smell the jellybean, you can't taste it at all—despite its strong flavor. When you can smell it even a little bit, you can taste it a little bit. It's no wonder that when we can't smell, our appetites decrease!

Munch An Onion

Here's another quick experiment that shows how much the sense of smell influences our ability to taste food.

Peel and cut an onion in half; then cut a hard, crunchy apple in half (remove core and seeds). Close eyes or use a blindfold, then pinch nostrils shut and take a bite of each while holding nostrils closed. Until you release your nostrils, you probably won't be able to tell the difference between the taste of the two!