Pizza is the lifeblood of the modern human. The best things are life are simple, covered in cheese and often delivered to your front door. If you ask someone why they ask pizza they can’t only shake their heads and say, knowingly, “I just do, you know”.
However, science might be here to justify our love of pizza and it feels a lot like when your unemployed boyfriend finally gets his life together.
Up until now conventional wisdom has broken the sense of taste into five distinct sections: salty, bitter, sweet, sour and umami. This is how it’s always been… until now (cue the exciting music).
The sixth taste may have been unearthed and it explains why we have such an addiction to pizza, pasta and other carbohydrates that personal trainers tell us to stay away from.
A Professor of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University gave 22 participants different levels of carbs in liquid form. The participants called “the taste ‘starchy’. Asians would say it was rice-like, while Caucasians described it as break-like or pasta-like”.
The participants were given a compound to block the enzyme used to break down carbs into sugars. All that was left was the taste of starch which showed that our tongues can detect the starch before it is broken down!
This is why we prefer complex carbohydrates or, in layman’s terms, ‘pizza all-day erryday’.
“Sugar tastes great in the short terms, but if you’re offered chocolate and bread, you might eat a small amount of chocolate, but you’d choose the bread in larger amounts, or as a daily staple”.
You hear that? “Daily staple” that’s what pizza is to us. It’s science, man, don’t really know what else we can say about it! Since starch could be a new taste, it’s opening the possibility for the human tongue to be more complex than we thought… maybe there’s a ‘creamy’ taste for why we can neck a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting?