Can You Taste By Smelling?

Your sense of smell is very closely related to your sense of taste.

To see how this works, think of a chocolate ice cream cone at your lips. You taste the sweetness of the chocolate with the taste buds at the tip of your tongue. But the smell of the chocolate is a job for your nose. The chocolate releases tiny particles of vapor into the air and they reach the nerve cells inside your nose.

So while your tongue is telling your brain that you’re eating something sweet, the nerve cells in your nose are also reporting to your brain that it’s something chocolate. Your brain puts this information together and tells you it’s chocolate ice cream.

If you were blindfolded and your nose stopped up so you couldn’t smell, you would have trouble identifying different foods just by taste. This has been proven with apples and potatoes, as well as with coffee and red wine, when they are both at the same temperature.

This is also why when you have a cold and mucus blocks your nasal passages, air cannot carry smells to your brain. So, it is almost impossible for you to taste food.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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