I recently heard someone say that chocolate is one of the food groups so that is a reason why everyone loves it.
Well even though chocolate is wonderful and dark has been found to be good for heart health in small quantities, it is not a taste on it’s own.
There have traditionally been four tastes – sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Interestingly in our dark distant past we used the bitter and sour tastes to work out if a material was safe to eat, whereas we look for salty and especially sweet things.
In 2009 it was recognised that there is another taste. Umami is a combination of sweet and savoury and is very common in Asian foods.
Scientists never stop researching and have now identified the sixth taste and how it is described is entirely dependent upon where you grew up.
Starchy is the taste we get when eating complex carbohydrates. It is not as obvious as the traditional four as it is often masked by them.
The finding was made after giving volunteers different carbohydrate solutions after having a compound which temporarily masked sweet tastes.
If from Asia the taste is described as being like rice, whereas Caucasians think the taste is like bread / pasta / flour.
Obviously this is just one set of research, so more will be required to confirm that we do in fact have six tastes.