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9 Weird Things That Can Mess With Your Taste Buds

Surprisingly, these everyday factors can give your palette a different taste.

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Hand holding fork and spoon over the dinner table


Spoons made from copper or zinc enhance a food’s apparent saltiness. These are the 9 secrets your tongue reveals about your health.

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Grilled salmon steak with fresh thyme, lemon and pink salt, top view


People praise food that has a descriptive name more than the same food with a lackluster one. For example, Herb-Crusted Citrus-Laced Fillet of Tilapia versus Seafood Fillet.

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Circle thermometer, temperature and humidity of climate


Often a warm beer tastes more bitter than a cool one, and ham tastes saltier when it’s cold. This “thermal taste” occurs because taste buds have tiny channels that interpret flavors differently at various temperatures.

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Colorful sample paint pots


Forty-eight percent of participants in a French study rated soda in a blue glass as more thirst-quenching than soda in glasses of other colors, likely because they associated blue with cold. Color affects other senses too: Here’s how the color of your clothes affects your mood.

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Hiking path and sunset in beautiful woods panoramic view, inspirational summer landscape in forest. Walking footpath or biking path, dirt road.
Blazej Lyjak/Shutterstock


British researchers asked people to describe the qualities of the same Scotch whiskey in three rooms themed as grassy, sweet, and woody. (For example, the first room smelled of grass and played recordings of bleating sheep.) Respondents largely came back with “grassy,” “sweet,” and “woody,” respectively.

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Bottle of red wine with a blank label and glass standing on cellar floor with a wooden wine barrel in the background
Kirill Z/Shutterstock


After sampling, French wine experts favored wine poured from a high-priced bottle over the same wine poured from a bottle marked as cheap.

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Brain Model in hands


Recalling a positive memory about vegetables can make the ones on your plate more enjoyable (you’ll take a bigger portion too). These are the 50 things we bet you didn’t know about how your brain processes the world.

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View on friends having alcoholic drinks in the bar, close-up
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In a study of more than 3,500 men and women, people who drank more than four alcoholic beverages a day had a significantly higher chance of developing taste impairments than those who didn’t. The effect also takes place when you sip a glass of wine with your dinner: the alcohol numbs your mouth’s tactile receptors, therefore changing the way you taste your food.

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old age, problem and people concept - senior man in glasses thinking and looking through window at home
Syda Productions/Shutterstock


As you age, the cells in the nasal cavity regenerate less quickly, which affects your sense of smell, and in turn your sense of taste. Find out more about the crazy food combinations that totally change your sense of taste.