General Question

lifeflame's avatar

Is there a systematic way to distinguish tastes (i.e., like the aroma wheel for wine but for food in general)?

Asked by lifeflame (5790 points ) August 1st, 2011

Say you’re a food critic, or you’re teaching someone how to distinguish and discuss the taste of food. Is there a system of adjectives that you could use to distinguish the taste, texture, smell, etc. for food? I know that there is an “aroma wheel” for wine, and ones also for beer, coffee and maple syrup, but has anyone developed something for food in general?

Any jellies been trained to do this?

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5 Answers

everephebe's avatar

Not having any luck with general food yet. Hold on.
Basic tastes.
Tongue map is phoney.
Maybe check this out.
This site looks decent enough.
Here’s a tequila wheel.
One for beer.
wine
several
Maybe check out this Journal

I dunno.

everephebe's avatar

I mean basically what you need to know and remember is: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. And there’s also piquance which I am largely unfamiliar with.

Then we have texture and appearance (presentation) too.

rOs's avatar

This article may help explain:

”...If you ask the expert chicken sexers themselves, they’ll tell you that in many cases they have no idea how they make their decisions. They just look at the rear end of a chick, and ‘see’ that it is either male or female. This is somewhat reminiscent of those expert chess players, often cited in the psychological literature, who can just ‘see’ what the next move should be; expert wine tasters, who have the uncanny ability to identify wines and vintages; and medical experts who can diagnose diseases on the basis of subtle information. All of these skills are hardearned and not accessible to introspection…”

In other words, It would be damn near impossible for Gordon Ramsey himself to explain how he distinguishes specific tastes. There are basic labels you can attach, but knowing them doesn’t make you understand. The answer is right in front of you: Practice, Practice, Practice.

mattbrowne's avatar

You could take a neurological approach. Like for sights and sounds. Human beings have something like a maximum resolution our brain can handle. This applies to tastes as well. But keep in mind that 80% of taste is actually smell.

Haleth's avatar

I never knew about the armoa wheel of wine. That’s actually really helpful!

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