9 Weird Things That Can Mess With Your Taste Buds

Utensils

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Spoons made from copper or zinc enhance a food’s apparent saltiness. These are the 9 secrets your tongue reveals about your health.

Language

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People praise food that has a descriptive name more than the same food with a lackluster one. For example: Herb-Crusted Citrus-Laced Fillet of Tilapia versus Seafood Fillet.

Temperature

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Often a warm beer tastes more bitter than a cool one, and ham tastes saltier when it’s cold. This “thermal taste” occurs because taste buds have tiny channels that interpret flavors differently at various temperatures.

Color

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Forty-eight percent of participants in a French study rated soda in a blue glass as more thirst-quenching than soda in glasses of other colors, likely because they associated blue with cold. Color affects other senses too: Here’s how the color of your clothes affects your mood.

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Environment

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British researchers asked people to describe the qualities of the same Scotch whiskey in three rooms themed as grassy, sweet, and woody. (For example, the first room smelled of grass and played recordings of bleating sheep.) Respondents largely came back with “grassy,” “sweet,” and “woody,” respectively.

Expectations

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After sampling, French wine experts favored wine poured from a high-priced bottle over the same wine poured from a bottle marked as cheap.

Memory

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Recalling a positive memory about vegetables can make the ones on your plate more enjoyable (you’ll take a bigger portion too). These are the 50 things we bet you didn’t know about how your brain processes the world.

Alcohol

In a study of more than 3,500 men and women, people who drank more than four alcoholic beverages a day had a significantly higher chance of developing taste impairments than those who didn’t. The effect also takes place when you sip a glass of wine with your dinner: the alcohol numbs your mouth’s tactile receptors, therefore changing the way you taste your food.

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Age

As you age, the cells in the nasal cavity regenerate less quickly, which affects your sense of smell, and in turn your sense of taste. Find out more about the crazy food combinations that totally change your sense of taste.

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