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How Food Tastes To Me Is Totally Different From How It Tastes To You

In this month’s Sparks podcast, FiveThirtyEight’s science team talks about how humans experience the flavors of food and discusses the book “Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense” by Bob Holmes. In the podcast, which runs in FiveThirtyEight’s What’s The Point feed, lead health writer Anna Maria Barry-Jester, senior science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker, lead science writer Christie Aschwanden and senior editor Blythe Terrell talk about how factors such as smell and mouthfeel influence how we perceive what our food tastes like. Plus, the gang does a little bit of flavor tripping with miracle berries (and Pop Rocks are involved).

The second part of this month’s podcast, featuring an interview of Holmes by Anna, is below:


VIDEO: Here’s what a flavor trip looks like

Blythe Terrell is a former senior editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Christie Aschwanden is FiveThirtyEight’s lead writer for science. Her book “Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery” is available here.

Maggie Koerth-Baker is a senior science writer for FiveThirtyEight.

Anna Maria Barry-Jester reports on public health, food and culture for FiveThirtyEight.