tardegy = T = tayste

taste [primarily MIT] n.

1. The quality in a program that tends to be inversely proportional to the number of features, hacks, and kluges programmed into it. Also `tasty', `tasteful', `tastefulness'. "This feature comes in N tasty flavors." Although `tasty' and `flavorful' are essentially synonyms, `taste' and flavor are not. Taste refers to sound judgment on the part of the creator; a program or feature can exhibit taste but cannot have taste. On the other hand, a feature can have flavor. Also, flavor has the additional meaning of `kind' or `variety' not shared by `taste'. The marked sense of flavor is more popular than `taste', though both are widely used. See also elegant. 2. Alt. sp. of tayste.

--Jargon File, autonoded by rescdsk.

- November 30, 1997
What we think of as the taste of something is the result of quite complex interactions between several different kinds of stimulus. From the taste buds, we get the five or so basic flavour elements - salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. This is the savoury taste of glutamates (including MSG), which was only established as a taste of its own in 2000; previously monosodium glutamate was only known to affect our perception of taste by acting like a neurotransmitter, increasing the overall sensitivity of the taste buds. This is why you will usually see it listed as a flavour enhancer, not as a flavouring. Salt can also amplify the response of the taste buds, probably by acting as an electrical conductor; it turns out that a small amount of salt added to a sugary solution, for example, can increase its perceived sweetness by up to 40%. These five kinds of flavour sensing - to which fat and astringency should perhaps be added - are classed under the heading of gustation. There is more on the chemical basis of gustation here.

Several other sensations arising from the mouth are also important in taste perception: These include the interestingly different hot feelings we get from chilli, black pepper, ginger, horse radish and so on, which are the result of the chemical stimulation of pain and temperature sensors in the tongue and surrounding area; the sensations caused by onion, garlic and their ilk involve some of the same nerves and along with spicy heat they are classed as trigeminal sensations. The astringency of tea, red wine and some fruits and vegetables, as mentioned above, is another important factor in many tastes; so too is the cool feeling we get from mint and spices like cardamom and to a lesser extent cumin, caused by their local anaesthetic action. Texture can also make a big difference to the experience of food, partly by changing the way we think of the taste. Traditionally the effect of fat on taste has been put down to the way it changes a food's texture, which is obviously at least part of the story - but there is now some evidence that it is best considered another fundamental mode of gustation.

Aromas are about as central to the taste of a thing as the signals we get from the taste buds; a bland dish can often be transformed into a 'tasty' one by adding something with a strong smell but no power to stimulate the taste buds (try adding a little toasted sesame oil to something like porridge, for example). This interdependence goes both ways; some smells can be detected at much lower concentrations if someone is simultaneously tasting an associated flavour.

Finally, what someone thinks about what they are eating makes an enormous difference, which is one reason presentation is a vital skill for a chef. Try telling the difference between a raw potato and an apple with your eyes closed; it can be done, but it's a heck of a lot more difficult than you might imagine (note: raw potato is indigestible and can make you ill, so don't eat too much). Another test is to give glasses of green-coloured orange juice to people with and without blindfolds, and see what they think of it.

Our sense of taste is covered in more detail, with special reference to the contribution of trigeminal sensations, here: http://zingerone.foodsci.cornell.edu/trigeminal/trigem.html

The part of taste that comes from taste buds is actually a chemical reaction that occurs on the tongue. (Byproducts of the reaction start the chain of stimulus which eventually gets percieved as the sense of taste.) - Think of it... when you taste food, you are actually changing it's chemical composition! Air (and I think oxygen in particular) contributes to the reactions, which is why thin slices of meat or cheese are so much tastier than slabs of the stuff, and why slurping makes liquids taste better.

Next time your mother scolds you for slurping soup, just tell her you're doing your best to appreciate her cooking!

Taste (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tasted (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tasting.] [OE. tasten to feel, to taste, OF. taster, F. tater to feel, to try by the touch, to try, to taste, (assumed) LL. taxitare, fr. L. taxare to touch sharply, to estimate. See Tax, v. t.]


To try by the touch; to handle; as, to taste a bow.



Taste it well and stone thou shalt it find. Chaucer.


To try by the touch of the tongue; to perceive the relish or flavor of (anything) by taking a small quantity into a mouth. Also used figuratively.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine. John ii. 9.

When Commodus had once tasted human blood, he became incapable of pity or remorse. Gibbon.


To try by eating a little; to eat a small quantity of.

I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Sam. xiv. 29.


To become acquainted with by actual trial; to essay; to experience; to undergo.

He . . . should taste death for every man. Heb. ii. 9.


To partake of; to participate in; -- usually with an implied sense of relish or pleasure.

Thou . . . wilt taste No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

Taste, v. i.


To try food with the mouth; to eat or drink a little only; to try the flavor of anything; as, to taste of each kind of wine.


To have a smack; to excite a particular sensation, by which the specific quality or flavor is distinguished; to have a particular quality or character; as, this water tastes brackish; the milk tastes of garlic.

Yea, every idle, nice, and wanton reason Shall to the king taste of this action. Shak.


To take sparingly.

For age but tastes of pleasures, youth devours. Dryden.


To have perception, experience, or enjoyment; to partake; as, to taste of nature's bounty.


The valiant never taste of death but once. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Taste, n.


The act of tasting; gustation.


A particular sensation excited by the application of a substance to the tongue; the quality or savor of any substance as perceived by means of the tongue; flavor; as, the taste of an orange or an apple; a bitter taste; an acid taste; a sweet taste.

3. Physiol.

The one of the five senses by which certain properties of bodies (called their taste, savor, flavor) are ascertained by contact with the organs of taste.

Taste depends mainly on the contact of soluble matter with the terminal organs (connected with branches of the glossopharyngeal and other nerves) in the papillae on the surface of the tongue. The base of the tongue is considered most sensitive to bitter substances, the point to sweet and acid substances.


Intellectual relish; liking; fondness; -- formerly with of, now with for; as, he had no taste for study.

I have no taste Of popular applause. Dryden.


The power of perceiving and relishing excellence in human performances; the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion, symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence, particularly in the fine arts and belles-letters; critical judgment; discernment.


Manner, with respect to what is pleasing, refined, or in accordance with good usage; style; as, music composed in good taste; an epitaph in bad taste.


Essay; trial; experience; experiment.



A small portion given as a specimen; a little piece tastted of eaten; a bit.



A kind of narrow and thin silk ribbon.

Syn. -- Savor; relish; flavor; sensibility; gout. -- Taste, Sensibility, Judgment. Some consider taste as a mere sensibility, and others as a simple exercise of judgment; but a union of both is requisite to the existence of anything which deserves the name. An original sense of the beautiful is just as necessary to aesthetic judgments, as a sense of right and wrong to the formation of any just conclusions or moral subjects. But this "sense of the beautiful" is not an arbitrary principle. It is under the guidance of reason; it grows in delicacy and correctness with the progress of the individual and of society at large; it has its laws, which are seated in the nature of man; and it is in the development of these laws that we find the true "standard of taste."

What, then, is taste, but those internal powers, Active and strong, and feelingly alive To each fine impulse? a discerning sense Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust From things deformed, or disarranged, or gross In species? This, nor gems, nor stores of gold, Nor purple state, nor culture, can bestow, But God alone, when first his active hand Imprints the secret bias of the soul. Akenside.

Taste of buds, or Taste of goblets Anat., the flask-shaped end organs of taste in the epithelium of the tongue. They are made up of modified epithelial cells arranged somewhat like leaves in a bud.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.