S e a r c h



Taste and Steak Pefection

LOS ANGELES, California A person must have a developed sense of taste in order to recognize and appreciate steak perfection.

Very few individuals have both the talent and the experience to recognize subtle differences in taste.  This section will summarize what a person should do in order to imporve the sense of taste.


Sometimes, people use the word taste to mean the entire experience, including the senses for the tongue, the senses for the nose, and even the senses for the eyes.  More properly speaking, however, taste means only the sensation of food on the tongue -- "gustation".

Flavor is the word which means the combination of taste, smell and touch.  "Flavor is a complex mixture of sensory input composed of taste (gustation), smell (olfaction) and the tactile sensation of food as it is being munched, a characteristic that food scientists often term "mouth-feel".  Scientific American.

Thus, in a technical sense taste is not synonymous with flavor but instead means the sensations arising from the taste cells in the mouth.  An accompanying story describes more about taste, with illustrations.

Four basic tastes

There are four basic tastes -- the senses that are detected by the tongue alone:

  • sweet
  • sour
  • salty
  • bitter

(Some scientists recently proposed that a fifth taste exists, called umami, and refers to a "meaty" or "savory" sensation, as described in an accompanying story.)

Taste map is wrong

Scientists have discovered that the traditional map of the tongue is wrong.  The traditional map shows the sweet receptors at the front, the salt receptors along the side, etc.  Now, however, scientists have shown that all taste cells detect all four (or five) basic tastes.  SA.

Related information:




Want to know where beef cuts come from?  Or information about hormones, Mad Cow Disease (BSE), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and other stories?  Check out these the Beef Industry Resource.

Here are pictures drawing and posters of the various retail cuts and where they come from.

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