I was listening to The Splendid Table podcast this morning. They were interviewing Katie Workman about picky eaters. She mentioned a fact about taste buds that peaked my interest. She said “There’s a very interesting fact which is that we are all born with about 10,000 taste buds. Over the course of time, by the time you reach full adulthood, you only have 3,000 taste buds. The number simply diminishes. So whatever we perceive as pleasantly bitter, kids perceive as extremely bitter because they have all their little receptors firing away.”
Now I know why I hated asparagus when I was a kid and love it now!! The older I get the more I find out how much I lose. What is that about? I checked to see if I could find some more interesting facts about our taste buds. Here are a few more for you!
- We have almost 10,000 taste buds inside our mouths, even on the roofs of our mouths. (Start out with 10,000 and get down to 3,000. Crazy!!)
- Insects have the most highly developed sense of taste. They have taste organs on their feet, antennae and mouthparts. (I guess this is a useful tidbit of info) 😉
- In general, girls have more taste buds than boys
- Taste is the weakest of the 5 senses. (I would say my strongest sense is smell. Brings back many memories if it hits me the right way. What about YOU?)
- There are 5 basic tastes; sweet, salty, sour and bitter, there is a fifth taste, umami, from a Japanese word for “pleasant savory taste” and is distinguished from saltiness.
Umami?! Soy sauce, fish sauce, celery, cheeses…add umami to your dish. Works fabulously!! I shall save that for another time!!