12 Fun Facts About Your Taste Buds
Buzzfeed: We owe a lot to these little guys. They’re the reason we find Sweet Street products so tasty!
1. You can’t see your taste buds.
Contrary to popular belief, those bumps on your tongue are not your taste buds. Those are called papillae, and they contain numerous taste buds within and around them.
2. Taste buds aren’t just on your tongue.
They’re on the roof of your mouth, your throat, and even your esophagus!
3. That thing they taught you in school was wrong.
Remember that map of the tongue that showed which sections of the tongue were responsible for which taste? This was scientifically disproven. All regions of the tongue detect all tastes, though different parts are more sensitive to certain flavors. Science prevails again!
4. So there are these things called taste hairs…
Each taste bud has 50 to 100 receptor cells. Sticking out of these receptor cells are tiny taste hairs that check out the food chemicals in your saliva then send a signal to your brain. Ewww, taste hairs…
5. Everyone has a different amount of taste buds.
People can have anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 taste buds. Yet another fascinating trait that makes each of us unique!
6. Introducing “supertasters!”
People with significantly more taste buds are called supertasters. They are much more sensitive to taste and may find certain foods too bitter or sweet.
Find out if you’re a supertaster here!
7. A taste bud’s life is fleeting.
Taste buds only live for 10 to 14 days.
8. The good news: They grow back!
9. The bad news: Fewer taste buds grow back as you get older.
10. Spicy food hurts.
11. Taste buds are there to protect you.
Your taste buds protect you from dangerous foods. When something tastes wrong, you immediately spit it out, thus preventing it from getting to your stomach. Thanks, taste buds!
12. Taste and smell: It’s a beautiful romance.
Flavor comes from the combination of taste AND smell. Ever notice how your food tastes bland when you’ve got a stuffy nose? These two don’t like to be separated.