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what tastes better than it smells

The tongue tastes better than it smells. It is an organ that helps us identify different tastes and flavors.

Despite its importance, the tongue often goes unnoticed and taken for granted. This riddle challenges our perception of taste and smell and reminds us of the tongue’s significance in our daily lives. Many foods have a strong smell but a delicious taste, such as durian fruit, while others have a pleasant aroma but a disappointing flavor.

Our senses of taste and smell work together to create a multisensory experience that allows us to enjoy our favorite foods. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between taste and smell, the science behind it, and some foods that taste better than they smell.

What Tastes Better Than It Smells: Culinary Surprises


The Sensory Paradox

Have you ever noticed that some foods taste better than they smell? This intriguing sensory paradox is a fascinating aspect of human perception. While our sense of taste and smell are closely linked, there are instances where the two senses seem to diverge, creating a unique and unexpected experience.

The Science Of Taste Vs. Smell

Our sense of taste is primarily derived from our taste buds, which can detect five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. On the other hand, our sense of smell is closely tied to the olfactory receptors in our nasal passages, allowing us to perceive a wide range of aromas. When it comes to the sensory paradox of taste versus smell, the brain plays a crucial role in reconciling the differences between the two senses.

Psychological Aspects

The sensory paradox of taste versus smell also has intriguing psychological implications. Our expectations and past experiences can significantly influence how we perceive the taste and smell of a particular food or beverage. This phenomenon underscores the complex interplay between our sensory perceptions and cognitive processes, adding an extra layer of depth to the sensory paradox.

What Tastes Better Than It Smells: Culinary Surprises


Surprising Culinary Delights

Discover the world of flavors that defy your sense of smell. Some culinary delights taste better than they smell, leaving your taste buds pleasantly surprised.

Cheese: A Love-hate Relationship

Cheese, a versatile dairy product, often evokes a love-hate relationship due to its strong aroma. Despite its pungent smell, cheese offers a rich and savory taste that delights cheese enthusiasts worldwide.

Durian: The King Of Fruits

Known as the “King of Fruits,” durian is infamous for its overpowering smell that some find repulsive. However, beneath its strong odor lies a creamy, sweet flesh that captivates those willing to overlook its initial scent.

Unlikely Taste Sensations

Fermented Foods: An Acquired Taste

Some fermented foods, such as kimchi and certain types of cheese, can have an intense and pungent aroma that may deter the uninitiated. However, the taste of fermented foods often surprises those who are willing to give them a try. The complex flavors and tangy notes create a unique taste sensation that contrasts with the initial smell. It’s a prime example of how a food can taste better than it smells.

Seafood: Beyond The Ocean’s Scent

Seafood, with its briny and oceanic aroma, can be off-putting to some. Yet, for many, the taste of seafood is a delight that surpasses the initial olfactory experience. From succulent shrimp to flaky fish, seafood offers a range of flavors that go beyond the scent that may have initially given pause. This is a prime example of a food category where taste triumphs over smell, creating a surprising and enjoyable culinary experience.

Aromatic Divergence In Cuisine

Aromatic Divergence in Cuisine

When it comes to the world of flavors, there exists a fascinating phenomenon known as the aromatic divergence in cuisine. This intriguing concept explores the dichotomy between the alluring scents and the actual taste of various ingredients, leading to the discovery that some foods taste far better than they smell.

Spices: Smell Potent, Taste Subtle

Spices, with their potent and captivating aromas, often lead us to expect intense flavor experiences. However, the reality can be quite different. Many spices, such as cumin, cardamom, and coriander, possess subtle and nuanced flavors that develop during the cooking process. This divergence between the powerful scent and the delicate taste adds depth and complexity to dishes, surprising and delighting the palate.

Herbs: Fragrant Leaves, Milder Bites

Herbs, with their fragrant leaves, offer another intriguing example of the aromatic divergence in cuisine. While their aromas can be intoxicating, the actual flavors they impart to dishes are often milder than expected. Basil, mint, and cilantro are perfect examples of herbs that entice with their scents but contribute subtle, refreshing notes to culinary creations.

The Chemistry Of Flavor

Flavor Compounds: Volatile Vs. Non-volatile

Flavor compounds are essential to the sensory experience of food, and they can be categorized into two main groups: volatile and non-volatile. Volatile compounds are responsible for the aroma and are released as gases, affecting our sense of smell and contributing to the overall flavor perception. On the other hand, non-volatile compounds are responsible for the taste of the food and are detected by the taste buds on our tongue. The combination of volatile and non-volatile compounds creates the complex and unique flavors we experience when eating.

Molecular Gastronomy: Science Meets Taste

Molecular gastronomy is a field of study that delves into the scientific principles behind the physical and chemical transformations that occur during cooking. It explores how different cooking techniques and ingredient combinations can alter the flavor and texture of food. By understanding the molecular structure of food components, chefs and food scientists can manipulate flavors and create innovative culinary experiences that challenge our perceptions of taste and smell.

Cultural Tastes And Smells

When it comes to food, the relationship between taste and smell varies across different cultures. Cultural preferences play a significant role in shaping how people perceive the taste and smell of certain foods. This influences the types of dishes that are considered delicious or unpleasant based on cultural backgrounds.

Cultural Preferences In Taste And Smell

In some cultures, the strong and pungent aroma of fermented foods is highly prized, indicating that the food is rich in flavor. For example, in Korean cuisine, kimchi is a staple that is known for its pungent smell, but it is beloved for its complex and tangy taste. On the other hand, in Western cultures, the preference is often for foods with milder aromas, with an emphasis on the natural flavors of ingredients.

Adventurous Eating: Beyond The Familiar

Stepping outside of one’s cultural comfort zone can lead to discovering new and exciting tastes and smells. People who are open to adventurous eating may find delight in the exotic flavors of international cuisines, expanding their palate beyond the familiar. This can lead to the appreciation of foods that may initially have an unfamiliar or intense aroma, but surprise the senses with their delicious taste.

Cooking Techniques That Transform

Caramelization: Sweetness From Heat

Caramelization adds depth and sweetness to dishes through the browning of sugars.

Smoking: Infusing Flavor, Masking Smell

Smoking imparts a rich, smoky flavor to food while also masking undesirable smells.

What Tastes Better Than It Smells: Culinary Surprises


Pairing Food And Drink

Pairing food and drink is an art that can elevate the dining experience to new heights. When the right flavors and textures come together, it can create a symphony for the taste buds. From the classic combination of wine and cheese to the unexpected pairing of beer and stinky tofu, the world of food and drink offers endless opportunities for delightful culinary experiences.

Wine With Cheese: Enhancing Flavors

Wine and cheese have been cherished companions for centuries, and for good reason. The complex flavors of wine can complement the rich, creamy, or tangy notes of different cheeses, creating a harmonious blend that tantalizes the palate. The tannins in red wine pair well with aged cheeses, while the acidity of white wine can cut through the richness of soft cheeses. This timeless pairing is a testament to the principle that certain combinations are simply meant to be.

Beer And Stinky Tofu: A Match In Heaven

While stinky tofu may not initially sound appetizing, when paired with the right beverage, it can be a surprising delight. The pungent aroma of stinky tofu is balanced by the effervescence and bitterness of beer, creating a unique harmony of flavors. The carbonation in beer helps cleanse the palate after each bite of the pungent tofu, making it a surprisingly satisfying pairing for those willing to step outside their culinary comfort zone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Taste Better Than Smell?

The tongue tastes better than it smells due to its ability to identify different flavors accurately.

What Is Excellent To Taste But Horrible To Smell?

Answer: Cheese is excellent to taste but horrible to smell.

What Food Item Tastes Better Than It Smells?

Cheese is known to have a stronger and more pungent smell compared to its delicious taste. The flavors of cheese can be rich and satisfying, making it a prime example of something that tastes better than it smells.

Which Fruit Has A Strong Smell But Tastes Delicious?

Durian fruit is notorious for its strong and unpleasant odor, often described as rotting onions or turpentine. However, many people find the taste of durian to be sweet, creamy, and rich, with flavors reminiscent of almonds and other tropical fruits.


In the intriguing world of taste and smell, the answer lies in the tongue. While some foods may have a strong aroma, they surprise us with their delicious flavors. The tongue, a true mystery of sensory perception, exemplifies the concept of “what tastes better than it smells.

” Taste buds never cease to amaze!



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