Why People Taste Things Differently

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to food, but why is that? Why the variation? As Anthony tells us, it’s all down to something called papillae.

Read More:
FYI: Why Does Some Food Taste Bad To Some People And Good To Others?

“People who have a lot of papillae—the bumps on our tongue, most of which house our taste buds—often find flavors overwhelming.”

How Taste Works

“Until recently, scientists have accepted four basic tastes. You know them well — sweet, salty, sour and bitter.”

How does our sense of taste work?

“A bitter pill, sour grapes or sweet nothings — descriptions of taste are very often associated with strong emotions.”

How Does the Sense of Taste Work?

“The sense of taste begins with the taste buds, located on top of the fungiform papillae, or the large bumps on the tongue.”

Watch More:
How We See Colors:

Why Old Books Smell Good:

Pick Your Poison: Ricin:


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Horace the Cheese May 31, 2016 - 6:49 PM

This isn't much to do with the video, but I always wondered why we assume that everyone tastes different flavours when they eat the same food. People say it must be because some people like a food when others hate it, but some people like pink when other people it. Some people like metal music and others hate it when we are hearing the same thing. It's a boring thought, but we could just be tasting the exact same flavours.

ennui1812 September 3, 2016 - 1:52 AM

If you wanna find out whether or not you have the genetics for tasting bitter bitter bitter poisonous substances go buy some Chinese white pine nuts from WINCO. I couldn't taste anything but bitter no matter what I ate for a good two weeks. Same with my eldest son. His girlfriend noticed nothing. Called the FDA to report this and they took the information with great interest but said they couldn't do more than notify WINCO and they had done this before. So if you can taste bitter, not everyone really can, you can ruin 2 weeks to a month of your life buying cheap white pine nuts from China at WINCO. Real pine nuts come from another pine other than the Chinese White Pine. China and WINCO don't give a crap!

Kadence September 27, 2016 - 4:41 AM

I took a quiz on the internet already XD says I'm a subtle taster but since I don't care much I won't ever find out

B B November 22, 2016 - 12:13 PM

What you said about the food coloring seems to conflict with other videos about super tasters, unless you mean that the tongue not being completely blue means the person is a super taster.

B B November 22, 2016 - 11:54 PM

What you stated about the blue food coloring not sticking doesn't seem to jive with other videos about super tasters. I guess you meant that if the food coloring doesn't color all of the bottom part of your tongue, then you are a super taster?

Kote Anjing November 27, 2016 - 7:41 AM

fruit loops taste like soap to me

15thCS Hannah February 21, 2017 - 1:38 AM

ive always liked really salty and sour foods, and ill put vinegar on just about anything. when i tell people that they look disgusted, but i don't know why. Vinegar isn't gross lol.

Takai Akai March 5, 2017 - 1:56 PM

Okay, too lazy to go get blue dye so Imma make up a test on my own:

I like strong flavours so I might be a subtaster. But I can tell if there's enough salt in my food from the smell so I must be a supertaster.


Sar P March 29, 2017 - 8:51 PM

I love vinegar. And I love eating lemons with salt.

Chris Da Husky May 24, 2017 - 8:35 PM

On prometheas ( gene health reports ),I have all the homozygote alle genes for being a supertaster. gs184 rs713598(C;C) rs1726866(C;C) rs10246939(C;C)

I am not that much of a picky eater . I loved veggies as a kid ( still do )cause they tasted mildly sweet to me . I drink hella loads of coffee , guilty pleasure of eating a lemon ( no M berrys ) , and prefer dark chocolate over any milk chocolate product ( milk chocolate burns my throat , is too sweet. this includes anything with sugar. No/ very sensitive sweet tooth ) .Can I eat them tho ? sure when I am in the mood.

Now I do like salty foods + I think mushrooms / olives are very bitter , but if cooked right , I can deal with them .

My dad on the other hand ……….. yea idk he hates anything I like and is super picky . likes alot of junk food while I am more or less in the organic section. doasnt like veggies , hate coffee and alcohol with a passion , and we basically cant go out anywhere . Guess I got lucky ( but not my dad XD )??????

LD LD June 9, 2017 - 6:17 AM

I think there's way more to being able to taste then what your saying, tasting and likening what we taste is very complex, there's a variety of reasons that we might not be able to explain!!

Fletcher Clampitt June 24, 2017 - 9:04 AM

that's a lie no matter what kind of tongue you have it will always stick to it don't try this its stupid and really hard to get off your tongue

Daniel Lee July 22, 2017 - 3:06 AM

How come at the Boston Science Museum, I was tested to be a supertaster, yet I have a strange addiction to really spicy stuff?

Worthy Gamer September 5, 2017 - 6:05 PM

I like sour foods. That's why I LOVE Sour Patch Kids, and I mean the gummys, NOT real kids, ew.

Worthy Gamer September 5, 2017 - 6:08 PM

But I also like lime water with ice. Thinking of limes made me wonder if limes are Bitter or Sour. Then I chose to look up the difference between Bitter and Sour and then I found the answer! and I happened to find the video to!

LiberatorG September 10, 2017 - 9:31 AM

Dose any one else hate cherry like me?

Karey Ruiz November 27, 2017 - 7:15 AM

cool I'm a super taster

Shawn Cezanne June 8, 2018 - 11:03 PM

The blue dye sounds more like a joke than scientific.

Humanity Killed The Cat June 25, 2018 - 7:31 AM

I thought the title said “Why people taste different”

Immolati September 8, 2018 - 5:13 AM
Craig Howlter September 18, 2018 - 11:21 AM

i can't stand tomato sauce. I can't stand the smell, the taste or the look. The smell is especially bad and I'm in a family of tomato sauce lovers…so yay me. I can't even stand the feel of it, I won't even touch or go near the bottle. My disliking for tomato sauce is so extreme uck i can't stand it ew.

Alyshana Aparici October 27, 2018 - 11:41 PM

I like shrimp and my sister doesn't like the taste of shrimp,grapes and other candies

Elijah Brown November 22, 2018 - 10:25 AM

i would have liked to see you drill the hole you need to!!

Adrian Christensen November 25, 2018 - 5:35 PM

I like sweet & salty foods.

Crimson Ghost December 7, 2018 - 9:22 PM

I am a steak taster. A good Ribeye is the only thing I can taste. It is a terrible burden.

Bageda January 12, 2019 - 11:11 AM

I just searched for this because when i was younger i needed to sit by the table until i ate my food but sometimes i could not eat because i was way to close to puking every time i ate something i didnt like. If i puked i would get some kind of punishment since i wasnt supposed to puke from «perfect food». So sometimes i sat there from 4 pm until it was bedtime. So i sat there about 5 hours.

Nick Dodson March 14, 2019 - 11:38 AM

It has a LOT to do with your food experience as well. Many of us hated the taste of certain foods at first, but after being exposed to it many times, we grow appreciation for it.

I hated Mountain Dew at first, then became obsessed with it, now it ranks as a meh for me, and I don't get it anymore. Part of the obsessed phase was due to my mental perspective of it, which also plays a major role, which is why what your food looks like can wildly change how you think it taste as well. Then texture also plays an important role.

So when we taste things, we do far more than just taste them, which greatly impacts how we think thing taste, beyond what they actually taste like.

Merlin Ambrosius May 30, 2019 - 5:06 AM

Onions are sour. Why do people add them to so many things?

I can’t change my Profile picture February 16, 2020 - 10:53 PM

Salted black licorice is the absolute best

leviticus cornwall July 6, 2020 - 11:07 PM

Things I like but my family hates:extra strong black coffee,black licorice,medium rare steak,the hottest wings I can find I think they where called defcon 1 nuclear hot wings or something, etc

Milkiway Gaming July 20, 2020 - 6:46 AM

I can tell I’m a supertaster

Kerbodynamic X August 19, 2020 - 5:43 AM

I’m also confused, why people are evolved to prefer to eat sweets and fat. Are people with diabetes and obesity have a higher chance of survival?

Raffaello Lorenzo November 30, 2020 - 8:27 AM

I like the taste of iron in the blood 😋

Zora Perkins January 27, 2021 - 10:50 PM


The Legend20STFU August 7, 2021 - 7:11 AM

I’m food sensitive to a lot of things, but I can particularly tell if something has smoked paprika (even down to under 1% of a dish)