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Taste

TASTE.

We tend to use the word taste in two different ways. First, to refer to the ability to judge a thing correctly, usually (but not always) a work of art from an aesthetic point of view. Second, we use the word to refer to a particular set of aesthetic preferences, and given the most popular sense of this second usage, we understand that one person's set of preferences may differ from another person's set. In this article, taste refers to taste in the first sense, and personal taste refers to it in the second. "Personal taste" does not imply that one person's set of aesthetic preferences cannot be shared by others.

Taste

Taste in this first sense, by which we mean the ability to correctly judge aesthetic objects and events, has a long history, but happily that history is fairly easy to trace and fairly easy to contextualize. We will start in ancient Greece. In those philosophic traditions that begin with Greece, Aristotle (384322 b.c.e.) is the first person who offers us a formula for beauty. If a thing possesses a certain set of propertiesobjective properties that anyone with working senses and a passing familiarity with those properties can easily pick outthen that thing is beautiful. Aristotle said that an object is beautiful if it is ordered, symmetrical, and definite, and if it demonstrates each of these virtues to a high degree. This analysis we call "formal," because it focuses on the presence in the object of certain aesthetic properties that have to do with the form (as distinguished from the content) of the object. If a set of criteria can be discovered, the presence of which will ensure that an object is beautiful, and the absence of which will ensure that it is not, then through this the correctness of aesthetic judgments can be established.

Formalism, as an objective approach to aesthetic judgment, has been very popular. We find in St. Augustine of Hippo (354430) a formalist account of beauty: for an object to be beautiful is for it to exhibit unity, number, equality, proportion, and order, with unity as the most basic notion. And in the work of St. Thomas Aquinas (12241274), we find a formal account of beauty, which rests on three conditions: integrity or perfection, due proportion or harmony, and brightness or clarity. We find examples of formalists in eighteenth-century Britain. The third earl of Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper, 16711713) believed that so long as one was disinterested in attitude, one's judgment that an object was beautiful was correct as long as the object exhibits "unity in multiplicity." Francis Hutcheson (16941746) believed that, given a disinterested attitude, if an object exhibits "uniformity amongst variety," that object is beautiful. The essayist and statesman Joseph Addison (16721719) believed that an object was worthy of positive aesthetic judgment if it exhibited greatness and uncommonness. And jumping to the twentieth century, we find formalist accounts of aesthetic merit (though not explicitly about beauty per se) in the work of G.E. Moore (18731958) ("organic unity") and Clive Bell (18811964) ("significant form").

While theorists such as Shaftesbury and Hutcheson include clear formalist elements in their theories of aesthetic merit, they also stand at the beginning of a tradition of philosophers of aesthetics sometimes referred to as "taste theorists." The taste theorists are found, generally, in eighteenth-century Britain, and they begin as a bridge between objective formalist and subjective accounts of beauty. Although individual subjectivity now begins to appear in accounts of aesthetic judgment, it is important to note that these accounts were not antirealist (antirealism being the position that judgments about aesthetic objects are neither true nor false). Quite to the contrary, theorists like Shaftesbury and Hutcheson were still aesthetic realists (realism being the position that there are real answers to questions of aesthetic merit, that judgments about aesthetic objects really are true or false). In order to access the formal conditions of beauty, Shaftesbury and Hutcheson said that the attender must put himself or herself into a proper frame of mind. From this proper perspectivefrom the proper exercise of one's faculty of tasteone could judge correctly whether a thing is beautiful or not. The inclusion in their theories of the formal elements of "unity in multiplicity" and "uniformity amongst variety" were meant as explanations for why the exercise of one's taste would result in aesthetic enjoyment and correct judgment, but it is the exercise of taste that, in their theories, is logically prior: one exercises taste; one enjoys and judges positively; and notes subsequently that this enjoyment and positive judgment are occasioned by the presence of certain objective, formal features. Shaftesbury and Hutcheson are joined in their theorieswhich mix objective features of objects with subjective features of judgmentby others, most notably Joseph Addison (16721719), Archibald Alison (17571839), Lord Kames (Henry Home, 16961782), and Alexander Gerard (17281795).

The eighteenth-century British taste theorists are, in some sense, a product of their times. There are three items that motivate them. First, they rejected as insufficient pure formalist, objectivist theories of beauty. Second, they were inspired by empiricism, and they sought to connect knowledge with the focus on the senses as the medium through which reality was taken in. In aesthetic theory, this can been seen in the move from the Platonism apparent in theories like Shaftesbury's to the almost physiological tone of theories such as those of Hutcheson and Edmund Burke (17291797). Third, with political theorists in Britain like Thomas Hobbes (15881679) and John Locke (16321704) came a new focus on the authority and autonomy of the individual. This celebration of the individual, his rights, and the dominion and prerogative of his judgments, can be seen in the fundamental premises upon which David Hume (17111776) and Immanuel Kant (17241804) build their theories of aesthetic judgment.

Although formalist accounts persist into the twentieth century, they reach a point of diminished popularity at the end of the eighteenth century when mixed objective-subjective accounts, such as those offered by Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, are replaced in popularity by more purely subjective accounts offered by, to name the two most influential, Hume and Kant. Instead of focusing on the aesthetic object, both of these theorists focus on the aesthetic attender. Instead of offering objective-criteria formulae for what makes an object aesthetically good or beautiful, they focus exclusively on the qualities of the attender that make him or her a good judge.

Hume believed in the indisputability of particular taste and the sovereignty of the individual judge, but he also believed that "amidst all the variety and caprice of tastes, there are certain general principles of approbation and blame." For Hume, an object is beautiful if and only if it provokes aesthetic sentiment in appropriately disposed competent critics, which he calls "true judges." True judges have the following traits: (1) serenity of mind (mentioned earlier than the other five), (2) delicacy of taste, (3) they are well practiced, (4) they are versed in comparison between objects, (5) they are free from prejudice, and (6) they have good sense (i.e., their senses work very well).

Kant's focus was similar, although the theoretical details are rather different. Kant's means of establishing the worthiness of aesthetic judgment focuses somewhat less on the individual than Hume's, and more on what is common about judgment. It is from the dual vantage point of the authority of the subject's judgment and the call to universality of judgmentthat we expect and even demand commonality in judgmentthat Kant develops his view. Kant thought that the key to securing this universality was twofold: first, we recognize that each person has basically the same "common sense" for recognizing beauty in objects, and that aesthetic judgment is not merely a matter of sentiment but a matter of free play between the understanding and the imagination. Second, it is important for the judge to be properly disposed to making a correct judgment, and the proper disposition is for the judge to be disinterestedto consider the object/event for its own sake alone, without regard for any relation it bears to anything else, including personal interests. Given disinterest on the part of the judge, and given that we all have similar faculties for understanding the worldparticularly, the formal structures and purposefulness of the phenomenal worldwe would all judge similarly, at least with regard to individual, particular aesthetic judgments.

Hume and Kant opened the door for other subjective accounts of aesthetic goodness, but the real investment in subjective accounts came in the twentieth century and was provided by an assortment of aestheticians, Frank Sibley (19231996) being perhaps the most famous, who argue that reductions of evaluative aesthetic claims will never result in arrangements of objective properties. Sibley first identified aesthetic concepts and aesthetic terms as ones that necessarily include taste in their application. In justifying the use of aesthetic terms, however, we naturally seek out a basis that does not refer to taste. We look for the objective basis for our use of such terms, and we commonly expect to find such bases. Unfortunately, this only flows in one direction. While we may naturally look to non-aesthetic features to ground our ascriptions of aesthetic ones, we cannot, no matter how full an account we offer, ever say that, due to the presence of given nonaesthetic features an aesthetic feature must certainly be present. We would, says Sibley, be suspicious of anyone who says that we can create a rule that states that a certain aesthetic feature can be created by inserting certain nonaesthetic ones. We would say that such a person is not exercising taste and, moreover, did not really understand the aesthetic term at issue unless he could correctly apply it in instances where citing the rule was not an option.

This movement, first begun in the latter eighteenth century, but really brought to bloom in the twentiethtwentieth-century formalists notwithstandingthrough the work of Sibley and others, is a movement from objective accounts of beauty to subjective ones. The subjective accounts focus on taste, on the attenders or audience members (1) exercising their ability to judge correctly from an aesthetic point of view and (2) finding enjoyment in attending to those aesthetic qualities that properly should ground such enjoyment.

Personal Taste

The second sense in which the word taste is used, what we are calling "personal taste," focuses on particular sets of aesthetic preferences. There is certainly a relationship between taste and personal taste, and we want to explore that a bit later on. For now, consider the nature of the preference that one may exhibit for vanilla ice cream over chocolate, for chicken over fish, for saturated colors over muted ones, and for action-adventure films over romantic comedies. In these matters, it is the rare observer who will assert that there is clearly a correct decision to be made, that one of each pair is clearly to be preferred over the other. Most observers are content to say that these are all simply matters of personal preference. Moreover, there are now many who say that all aesthetic judgments are on a continuum with such exemplars of personal preference. As mentioned earlier, antirealism is the position that there is nothing right or wrong about an aesthetic judgment that refers to anything beyond that judge's preferencethat all aesthetic judgment is a matter of personal preference. If one takes such phrases as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and "there's no disputing individual taste" out of the realist contexts that the taste theorists had originally envisioned for them, one may understand taste as merely a set of personal preferences, over which external adjudicationor perhaps any adjudicationis inappropriate.

One challenge to this move toward antirealism as a theoretical platform for talking about personal taste is the widespread agreement in judgment forthcoming from certain aesthetic comparisons. Almost no one, on a "blind hearing," prefers Salieri to Mozart, and it is easy to develop a list of such comparisons, each instance of agreement serving as one more bit of inductive evidence in support of aesthetic realism. There is an explanation for this, and it turns on the fact that there are purposes to our aesthetic choices. We mean to invest our attention in those aesthetic experiences that we predict we will find more enjoyable, satisfying, rich, and rewarding. There are few museum or gallery patrons who will spend minutes upon minutes staring at Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can or a Marcel Duchamp ready-made. These conceptual works can be taken in quickly, and perhaps fully so. But it is not uncommon to see patrons spend a good deal of time in front of a mature Joseph Mallord William Turner, Paul Cézanne, or Henri Matisse. If the experience one seeks is deep visual satisfaction, one will tend to invest attention in objects that most likely will provide this.

One's personal taste can be understood, then, as a series of past choices and resulting experiences that provide a basis upon which one will make future investment predictions and choices. If one has a rewarding experience listening to a Billie Holiday song, one will most likely seek out more Billie Holiday songs, and it is likely that one will also seek out blues in general. If one has a less than rewarding experience looking at a Jackson Pollock work, then one will probably avoid Pollock in the future, and it may be expected that one may avoid modern art altogether. If one has a good experience with works by Mark Rothko, one may reasonably expect to enjoy the work of Agnes Martin. All of this is based on induction. We find patterns in the world that serve us, that promote survival, flourishing, or simple enjoyment. It is only reasonable that we will follow those patterns and that, to some degree, groups of people who are similar will find similar patterns.

A second challenge, perhaps more intriguing than the first, is the regular phenomenon that with exposure, time, and information, aesthetic preferences tend to grow and develop in fairly predictable ways. The film preferences of freshman students tend to be for very recent works that provide immediate, easy reward. The preferences of students who have taken a few film courses tend to be informed by a much broader temporal span of the film world and tend to focus on films that require some subject-initiated investment of attention, both cognitive and psychological. The preferences of senior level film studies majors (and perhaps their professors) may be seen as bizarre by the aforementioned freshmen, as such preferences may well include silent films, nonnarrative films, and directors like Sergei Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini. College students commonly move in their musical preferences from rock to jazz and classical, if not giving up the former, at least adding to it the latter. The best explanation for this is that taste grows in regular ways, and once these regularities are identified, taste can be educated: personal taste can grow in sophistication.

We need to be careful here to distinguish between the effects of education as a tool for social or cultural indoctrination and education as a means of facilitating experience, furthering horizons, and encouraging genuine aesthetic enjoyment. It would be a shame and a loss to move a student, through the education of taste, to less aesthetic enjoyment, and there is a danger in declaring that a person's aesthetic preferences are wrong if they do not match some standard or other. This returns us to the authority and autonomy of individual judgment with which the taste theorists wrestled.

One bit of support for the appropriate plurality of personal taste comes from the diversity of aesthetic preferences that follows geographical, ethnic, and even gender identities. The patterns of bright, colorful dress that one may see in the Maya, the Masai, and the Mongolians are very different from the patterns one sees in mainstream Europe and mainstream North America. Visually, traditional Asian artwork is easily separated from mainstream European and American artwork. One can take this to an even more basic level: the traditional Asian conception (or definition) of the aesthetic property of balance appears to be different from the mainstream European or American definition. If our very definitions of aesthetic properties diverge, yet in both contexts there is a general valuing of, in this case, balance, then the preferences that follow from this will diverge, as well.

Similar sorts of cases of diversity will manifest themselves in comparisons among ethnicities even within a geographical region. Public-space ambient music tends to follow these preferences; the music one hears in shopping centers in one part of the country may differ radically from the music one hears in another part. This is most likely more than simply the management's preferences. The choice in ambient music more likely follows the management's best judgments concerning the sort of music that the likely clientele will enjoy and that will keep them shopping. This is partly a geographical phenomenon, but in many places, can involve ethnic and subcultural considerations, as well.

The Relationship between Taste and Personal Taste

The recent understanding of taste (as closer to personal taste and away from the more traditional, realist sense of the word) can still be seen as pointing toward greater authority of the judgment of the individual that was one of the motivators of the original taste theorists. If there is ultimately no way to reasonably, authoritatively, or meaningfully adjudicate among divergent particular judgments or among divergent personal tastes as sets of matters of choice, then the eighteenth-century move toward a fuller respect for individual autonomy in aesthetic judgment has brought us to a point where taste gives way to personal taste. If one believes that Hume failed in his attempt to render consistent the authority of the individual with the call to commonality in judgment, and if one rejects Kant's attempt to solve the antinomy of taste ("taste is at the same time subjective and individual yet also universal") and save aesthetic realism where perhaps Hume was unable to, one may believe that, in these failures, the realist version of a singular, correct definition of taste is rightly abandoned. We may see as continuous with the decision between vanilla and chocolate ice cream a preference for Pink Floyd over Beethoven, Albee over Shakespeare, and Pollock over Rembrandt. Still, the recognition of this continuity is not a cause for surrender to the philosophy of "anything goes." As individuals may reasonably be expected to pursue those experiences that they find rewarding, and to make their investments of aesthetic attention based on predictions derived from patterns of past reward, we will continue to see some degree of commonality in personal judgment. The degree to which we see thishowever modestly or subtlywill continue to advance culture positively.

See also Aesthetics ; Arts ; Beauty and Ugliness ; Cultural Studies ; Objectivity ; Subjectivism .

bibliography

Addison, Joseph, and Richard Steele. "On the Pleasures of the Imagination." In Selections from The Tatler and The Spectator. Edited by Robert Allen. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1957.

Dickie, George. Evaluating Art. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988.

Goldman, Alan. "The Education of Taste." British Journal of Aesthetics 30 (1990): 105116.

Hume, David. Of the Standard of Taste and Other Essays. Edited by J. W. Lenz. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965.

Hutcheson, Francis. An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. New York: Garland, 1971.

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment. Translated by Werner S. Pluhar. Foreword by Mary J. Gregor. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987.

Kivy, Peter. "Recent Scholarship and the British Tradition: A Logic of Taste, The First Fifty Years." In Aesthetics: A Critical Anthology, edited by G. Dickie, R. Sclafani, and R. Roblin. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1989.

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper. Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964.

Sibley, Frank. "Aesthetic Concepts." Philosophical Review 68 (Oct. 1959): 421450.

David E. W. Fenner

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Taste

Taste

The chemical sense which perceives or distinguishes flavor.

Taste, or gustation, is one of the two senses triggered by chemical stimuli (the other is olfaction). A person has approximately 10,000 taste buds. Most are on the tongue, but some are located in the back of the throat. Grouped together in bumps or papillae on the surface of the tongue, the taste buds contain receptors that respond to four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. (It has also been proposed that monosodium glutamate (MSG) produces a fifth taste, called "umami," that enhances other tastes.) Each receptor responds most strongly to one or two of the four basic tastes and slightly to the others. The receptors that are sensitive to bitter substances are located on the back of the tongue. Beginning at the tip of the tongue and progressing to the rear on each side are over-lapping receptors for sweet, salty, and sour tastes. Although the number of basic tastes registered by human taste receptors is extremely limited when compared with the hundreds of odors that can be identified by olfactory

receptors, the taste buds work together to send a unique pattern of impulses to the brain for each substance tasted. As any gourmet or wine taster will attest, a wide range of patterns can be created by mixing and blending the four primary tastes in different combinations.

As food is chewed, its chemicals act as the stimuli for taste, breaking down into molecules, mixing with saliva, and infiltrating the areas that contain the receptors. Activation of the taste buds triggers nerve impulses that travel to the brain and are there transformed into sensations of taste. Because of their relatively "toxic" environment , taste buds live short lives, being replaced about every ten days. The sense of smell often works in conjunction with our sense of taste by combining sensations to achieve the perception of flavor. In fact, the olfactory sense actually contributes more to the perception of specific flavors than does the sense of taste. This phenomenon is commonly demonstrated in people whose sense of taste becomes dulled by colds. It has also been investigated in laboratory research, including tests in which subjects detected little taste in such strong substances as peppermint, onions, and cinnamon when their noses were congested.

When a person eats, chemical stimuli taken in through chewing and swallowing pass through an opening in the palate at the back of the mouth and move toward receptor cells located at the top of the nasal cavity, where they are converted to olfactory nerve impulses that travel to the brain, just as the impulses from olfactory stimuli taken in through the nose. The olfactory and gustatory pathways are known to converge in various parts of the brain, although it is not known exactly how the two systems work together.

Another way to regard the relationship between taste and smell is as two component parts of a perceptual function identified as the "flavor system," which also includes temperature and tactile receptors. Warm foods seem tastier because warming releases additional aromas from the mouth to the olfactory receptors. Warm foods also seem sweeter, although temperature has no effect on the perception of salty foods. A food's tactile properties (how it feels in one's mouth) influence perception of its flavor, hence distinctions such as that between smooth and crunchy peanut butter. Pain receptors are even included among the mouth's nerve endings involved in flavor perception, and may account for some of the appeal of hot and spicy foods. A person's nutritional state can influence perceived tastes, as well as the desire for particular foods: salt deficiency and food deprivation increase the desire for salty foods. The sweet properties of saccharin and aspartame were discovered by accident in laboratory settings, and researchers are now actively working on developing new artificial sweeteners to allow consumption of sweet foods that are low in calories.

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Taste

Taste

Taste is one of the five senses through which all animals interpret the world around them. (The other senses are smell, touch, sight, and hearing.) Specifically, taste is the sense for determining the flavor of food and other substances. It is one of the two chemical senses (the other being smell) and it is stimulated when taste buds on the tongue come in

contact with certain chemicals. The sense of taste also is influenced by the smell and texture of substances, hereditary factors, culture, and familiarity with specific taste sensations.

The biology of taste

Clusters of small organs called taste buds are located in the mouth, mainly on the surface of the tongue. Taste buds (named so because under the microscope they look similar to plant buds) lie in small projections called papillae and contain taste receptors that bind to food molecules broken down by saliva. These receptors send messages along nerves to the brain, which interprets the flavor as sweet, sour, salty, or bitter.

Taste buds for all four taste groups can be found throughout the mouth, but specific kinds of buds are clustered together in certain areas. Sweetness is detected by taste buds on the tip of the tongue. The buds for sour tastes are on the sides of the tongue, and for salty toward the front. Bitter taste buds on the back of the tongue can make people gag, a natural defense mechanism to help prevent poisoning.

New taste buds are produced every three to ten days to replace the ones worn out by scalding or frozen foods. As people grow older, their

taste buds are replaced at a slower rate, and more of a substance is needed to experience its full flavor. Scientists have discovered that individual tasting abilities and preferences for specific foods are partially hereditary. Some people are genetically programmed to have more taste buds than others and, as a result, taste more flavors in a particular food. Additionally, culture and familiarity with foods greatly influence taste preferences. Foods that are a tradition in certain cultures may be unappealing to those who are unfamiliar with them. A taste for a particular food usually develops as a person consumes it more frequently.

The smell, texture, and temperature of foods also affect taste. People often first experience the flavor of a food by its odor. When a person's sense of smell is decreased due to congestion from a cold or flu, they frequently experience a reduced ability to taste. Some people will not eat pears because of the fruit's gritty texture, while others would not think of drinking cold coffee.

Taste disorders

Taste disorders, in which either the sense of taste or smell is impaired, can be the result of allergies and viral or bacterial infections that produce swollen mucus membranes (behind the nose). They also may be due to a brain injury or disease that permanently damages the neural pathway through which taste and smell is transmitted. In addition, exposure to environmental toxins such as lead, mercury, and insecticides can damage taste buds and sensory cells in the nose or brain.

The inability to taste or smell not only robs an individual of certain sensory pleasures, it also can be dangerous. Without smell or taste, people cannot determine whether food is spoiled, making them vulnerable to food poisoning. Also, some psychiatrists believe that a lack of taste and smell affects the quality of a person's life and can lead to depression.

[See also Perception ]

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taste

taste / tāst/ • n. 1. the sensation of flavor perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance: the wine had a fruity taste. ∎  the faculty of perceiving this quality: birds do not have a highly developed sense of taste. ∎  a small portion of food or drink taken as a sample: try a taste of Gorgonzola. ∎  a brief experience of something, conveying its basic character: it was his first taste of serious action. 2. a person's liking for particular flavors: this pudding is too sweet for my taste. ∎  a person's tendency to like and dislike certain things: he found the aggressive competitiveness of the profession was not to his taste. ∎  (taste for) a liking for or interest in (something): have you lost your taste for fancy restaurants? ∎  the ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard: she has awful taste in literature. ∎  conformity or failure to conform with generally held views concerning what is offensive or acceptable: that's a joke in very bad taste. • v. [tr.] perceive or experience the flavor of: she had never tasted ice cream before. ∎  [intr.] have a specified flavor: the spinach tastes delicious. ∎  sample or test the flavor of (food or drink) by taking it into the mouth: the waiter poured some wine for him to taste. ∎  eat or drink a small portion of. ∎  have experience of: the team has not yet tasted victory at home. PHRASES: a bad (or bitter) taste in someone's mouth inf. a feeling of distress or disgust following an experience: this incident has left a bad taste in all our mouths. taste bloodsee blood. to taste in the amount needed to give a flavor pleasing to someone eating a dish: add salt and pepper to taste.

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taste

taste, response to chemical stimulation that enables an organism to detect flavors. In humans and most vertebrate animals, taste is produced by the stimulation by various substances of the taste buds on the mucous membrane of the tongue. A taste bud consists of about 20 long, slender cells; a tiny hair projects from each cell to the surface of the tongue through a tiny pore. The taste cells contain the endings of nerve filaments that convey impulses to the taste center in the brain. Five fundamental tastes, or a combination of these, can be detected by the buds: sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami. Umami, a meaty taste associated with glutamate and protein-rich foods, was identified by Kikunae Ikeda in Japan in the early 20th cent., and umami receptors were only discovered in 1996. Only the buds most sensitive to salty flavor are scattered evenly over the tongue. Sweet-sensitive taste buds are concentrated on the tip of the tongue, sour flavors are detected at the sides of the tongue, and bitter and umami flavors at the back. The close relationship of taste to smell gives the impression that a greater variety of tastes exists. This is also why an impairment of smell, as during a cold, may impart the feeling that the sense of taste is diminished.

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taste

taste (tayst) n. the sense for the appreciation of the flavour of substances in the mouth. There are four basic taste sensations – sweet, bitter, sour, and salt. t. buds the sensory receptors concerned with the sense of taste. They are located in the epithelium that covers the surface of the tongue and in the soft palate, the epiglottis, and parts of the pharynx. When a taste cell is stimulated by the presence of a dissolved substance impulses are sent via nerve fibres to the brain.

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taste

taste †examine by touch, try, test; experience or try the flavour of XIII; have a particular flavour XVI. — OF. taster (mod. tâter) touch, feel, try, taste :- Rom. *tastāre, supposed to be blend of L. tangere touch and gustāre taste.
So taste sb. — OF. tast, f. the vb. Hence tasty (-Y1) pleasant to taste. XVI (in untasty).

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taste

taste a bad (or bitter or nasty) taste in one's mouth a strong feeling of distress or disgust following an experience.
tastes differ proverbial saying, early 19th century; meaning that different people will like or approve of different things. Compare there is no accounting for tastes, every man to his taste.

See also an acquired taste, every man to his taste.

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"taste." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"taste." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/taste

taste

taste The tongue can distinguish five separate tastes: sweet, salt, sour (or acid), bitter, and savoury (sometimes called umami, from the Japanese word for a savoury flavour), due to stimulation of the taste buds. The overall taste or flavour of foods is due to these tastes, together with astringency in the mouth, texture, and aroma.

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"taste." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"taste." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/taste

taste

taste One of the five senses. It responds to the chemical constituents of anything placed in the mouth. In human beings, the taste buds of the tongue differentiate four qualities: sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and sourness.

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"taste." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"taste." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/taste

"taste." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/taste

taste

taste
1. The sense that enables the flavour of different substances to be distinguished (see taste bud).

2. The flavour of a substance.

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"taste." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"taste." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/taste

taste

tastebarefaced, baste, boldfaced, chaste, haste, lambaste, paste, po-faced, red-faced, self-faced, shamefaced, smooth-faced, strait-laced, taste, unplaced, untraced, waist, waste •toothpaste • foretaste • aftertaste •shirtwaist

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"taste." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"taste." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/taste-0

"taste." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/taste-0