Taste And Flavour.

According to Ayurveda, humans can detect six flavours, sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent (hot and spicy as in chilli peppers) and astringent (light and dry as in pop corn).  I am fortunate that I do not have any medical condition that prevents me from enjoying all the tastes, though not at the same time.

In the Western system however, “Taste” refers to our five sensitivities — sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami. I had to ask the meaning for the last from Google uncle .

When you bring “Flavour” into the equation, it  is a “hedonic” sense involving smell, texture, and expectation.  The problem usually is with the last.  I know / knew a large number of people who are never satisfied with what is offered on the table.  They will always find fault because, they had expected something totally different from what eventually was produced.  This is true for even cooks who do not like what their concoctions turn out to be!

Both the words “Taste” and “Flavour” however, are used in different ways to describe phenomenon other than that for the palate.  For instance, “he has a taste for the bizarre!”  I wonder how that would taste on someone’s tongue! “The flavour of the local slang in the larger linguistic study is conspicuous by its absence.”   I can however understand the statement “Taste for the good things of life.”  Here, as long as it restricts itself to food and drink, it makes sense, but when it includes say, furniture, mistresses etc, I am stumped.

When it comes to “Taste” or “Flavour” in any sense, I am what is known as Ashutosh in India.   How about you?


Comments are closed.