Those five tastes aren’t randomly selected. In fact, it’s very scientific. The reason we classify the basic five tastes is because the tongue has five different receptors. Each receptor fits molecules that define each taste like a lock and key system. While the taste and compound of umami itself was discovered in Japan in 1908 by scientist Kikunae Ikeda, it wasn’t until 2002 when the umami tongue receptor was found, validating umami as a primary taste sensation. Interestingly enough, the body actually has these mechanisms for taste identification as a survival skill. It helps humans avoid risky food behaviors (poison or spoilage) and find the nutrients needed to live.
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