Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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You know how when someone is cooking in the kitchen and it smells so good you can almost taste it? Or if you have ever had a head cold or stuffed up nose, food just tastes so bland and dull. That is because it is believed that 80-90 percent of our ability to taste flavor is referred to our sense of smell and that is our biggest element to taste! The taste of food determines what and how much we eat. We start out in life with about 10,000 taste buds scattered throughout the tongue, mostly on the back, side, and tip. There are only four different types of true tastes: sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. The sweet is on the tip of your tongue, sour on the sides, bitter on the back, and salty around the front. These four taste on our tongues bind to chemicals in the food and relay information about it to our brain.

Since we only have these four true tastes, it is actually only the smell that lets us experience mouth watering flavors.

Your smell is one of the most important senses in your body. We detect smells by breathing or sniffing air that carries odors. Odors come from molecules if gas that have been released into the air from different substances. They are smelled when molecules travel through the nasal passage and touch olfactory nerves. Olfactory nerve cells are stimulated by smells around us. They are located in a tiny patch high up in the nose. They connect by nerve pathways to areas in the brain.

Another set of cells in the nose and mouth have non-specialized nerve endings which are stimulated by strong and irritating smells like ammonia, onions, etc.

Unlike most other nerve cells, taste and smell cells are replaced when...