“Deliciously Useless Info — An apple, onion, and potato all have the same taste. The differences in flavor are caused by their aroma. To prove this, pinch your nose and take a bite from each. They will all taste sweet.” My girlfriend Melinda posted that on her Facebook page, generating a cascade of comments.
Two things: I was a newspaper copy editor for nearly a decade and a half. My BS detector is hypersensitive. Plus, everything looks like a good story to me.
Maybe there’s a third thing: I just moved to a new city. I’m in explorer mode, and thus acting like a 12-year-old with a sugar buzz. I haven’t outgrown the urge to do ridiculous things, only the urge to feel embarrassed about doing ridiculous things. You’re welcome.
Anyhow, look. We’ve all eaten apples, onions and potatoes. We know they taste different. Smell has a lot to do with taste, but it isn’t everything. Your tongue actually detects chemicals in foods. I couldn’t let that assertion stand! So, yeah, that’s how I ended up on Melinda’s roof, pinching my nose and squinching my eyes and confidently identifying raw apple, potato and onion chunks.
Apples, onions and potatoes, cut in chunks. I guess you could make some weird pan fries out of this, huh?
In the interest of science, Melinda cut them up and fed them to me. I didn’t even touch them.
Onion. Easy. Next!
Because they were all in a bowl together, everything had a little onion tang to it. The flavors were all noticeably less intense with my nose pinched shut, too. They were readily identifiable, though.
Flavors minus aromas are definitely harder to distinguish.
(Also, I’m noticeably less adorable with my eyes and nose squished up.)
We took this whole procedure very, very seriously in the interest of science. And then we had some beer, and some rockin’ cookies Melinda made. Much better!