Last year I went through a few weeks of having a really bad head cold, so bad that even eating my favourites became reduced a mix of chalk and cardboard. Flavourless. Odourless. It was as if my nose and mouth were deaf to the symphonic tastes and smells of an entire world- there was no sound of taste.

You don't get more onomatopoeic than crackling.
You don’t get more onomatopoeic than crackling.

Now, most people know the association between taste and smell, we have a basic range of tastes but our olfactory sense is what really expands our palate. That being said, the conversation stops there … for most.

What about our sense of touch on taste? There are many people in the world that have an intense loathing of avocado pears and mushrooms because of their mouth-feel. Fair enough, some things set my teeth on edge. Rough wooden teaspoons have this affect on me. This seemingly harmless and eco-friendly cutlery give me flashbacks of being a small child and deciding to chew wool. This self-wetting traumatic experience deserves to be replete with screeching chalkboards, scratchy violins, and rough sandpaper on polystyrene.

This crunchy, chewy, mojito meringue should really be eaten with sweet sounding violins in the background.
This crunchy, chewy, mojito meringue should really be eaten with sweet sounding violins in the background.

Which brings me to my next point: Touch and sound go together when eating.

Think of crispy duck skin for a moment – brittle, crunchy, crispy, slightly oily, and almost imperceptibly firm to the point of being chewy.
Note, there wasn’t a single taste description, they were all kinaesthetic, and chances are if you’d ever eaten duck dermis you would have started to taste the salty richness while reading that list.

Apparently, our association even goes as far as music, some music tastes perceptively salty, while others are bitter. See/listen/taste for yourself here.

 

This looks better than it sounds and tastes better than it looks.
This looks better than it sounds and tastes better than it looks.