\nModern scientists say spice is not a taste. It is only a feeling. They have 5 tastes - sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. Umami is a Japanese expression for a peculiar savoury taste. This has been recently added (in 2009) as the 5th taste. Now scientists are in the process of adding a sixth taste "oleogustus", which means taste for fat. Recently there is one more taste identified and people want to add that too. It is called starchy taste. I think by the end of the century we will have 100s of tastes as each and every substance has a distinct taste. Protein taste, Acid taste, Vit A taste, Vit B taste and so on. Apple taste, orange taste, jackfruit taste also can come in. Dont get surprised.
\nAyushoveda has elaborated 6 tastes. This conclusion has come after many discussions and debates (Ref Charaka Samhita). It says each and every substance has a distinct taste and that is why we are able to identify it. No two substances taste the same. But once you understand the concept of tastes, they can be broadly classified as Madhura (sweet), Amla (sour), Lavana (salty), Tikta (bitter), Katu (spicy as in pepper) and Kashaya (astringent).
\nThere are millions of receptors in the tongue and depending upon the person's food habits, some are active and some not so active. Some like sweet, while some sour and yet others prefer bitter.
\nJust because each and every substance tastes different and we have different taste buds to identify them, they, in my opinion, cannot be classified and grouped under different tastes. According to Ayushoveda, the effect of the taste on our health, has been dealt with elaborately. There is also advanced studies on the tastes. What happens to a taste after digestion? What taste (Vipaaka) does each taste get converted to after digestion and its effect on the system is also a profound subject. It is an extremely in depth study.
\nNot only spice, every taste is a feeling. Taste lies in the tongue of the beholder.
\n#ayurveda for life
\n#ayushoveda for lifestyle