Breaking Down the Senses IV: TASTE

“The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble body has a peculiar flavor, like none other” –Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

The Price of Happiness – do more expensive things “taste” better?

What is TASTE and how is it different than FLAVOR?

(Watch the VIDEO and read the TRANSCRIPT)

Miracle Berries!

All about the 5 TASTES (LEARNIST)

Did you say “UMAMI”?

Perpectives: a UK teen tests American Food (series)


Chocolate Tasting Tips – The only thing that melts at body temperature! More about using other senses to TEST BAD OR GOOD CHOCOLATE



EXPOSED! How Expectations Bias Wine Taste

5 Crazy-Delicious Food Combos to Try

The Food Project: Museum Exhibition- The Shape of Taste


As we conclude our exploration of the various senses and Sense Perception as a Way of Knowing, let’s experiment and celebrate with an “Iron Chef” type of activity!


Class Period 1:

1. Brainstorm a list of 2 “Savory” ingredients and 2 “Sweet” ingredients and write them on the Google Spreadsheet here:


Afterwards, we’ll draw names out of a hat. When you are chosen, you will get to choose your ingredients – ANY TWO INGREDIENTS FROM ANY CATEGORY (that’s correct, you can have 2 sweet or 2 savory or 1 each, but your dish has to include BOTH so be sure to think about that)

2. There will be JUDGING CRITERIA, including categories for  “Aesthetics”, “Taste”, “Texture”, “Smell”, or “Sound” (this would include reference to the name of the dish, or even the sound it makes as it is eaten)

At Home:

1. Now that you have your 2 ingredients, start researching recipes. Have fun figuring out how to create something unique, tasty, and aesthetically pleasing and smelling.

2. You will need to prepare the dish, name it, and bring everything necessary to plate it and serve it.

3. Your dish will be “tasted” not devoured, so it does not need to feed the entire class. *It also works if you create a presentation plate and then a side container of individual servings

4. IDEA: you might want to practice making and plating it at home so you have everything you need. Then try taking a photograph!

Due Date (Class Period 2):

1. On the date due (see below), you will need to bring everything needed to plate and serve your dish. You will also need to provide a card with the name of your dish and the 2 ingredients used. You are welcome to use the fridge in the Science Lab or Mrs. Morrison’s office..I will arrange with them. I don’t have a microwave, so if you need to heat something please arrange it with a teacher who has one ahead of time. As chef, you will be totally responsible.

2. Mrs. B will provide the criteria marking sheets, napkins, silverware, and drinks (and maybe some crackers to clean our palettes between tasting).

3. We will have fun tasting (in teams) the Savory and Sweet dishes, and judging them using the criteria you created. I might also film it! Then we’ll debrief using some TOK -related questions.


1. Choose 2 ingredients and incorporate both into dish

2. Practice making and plating dish

3. Name dish and create card for display

4. Bring everything you need on the date due

Due Dates:

Choosing ingredients: Feb.21 and Feb.22

Per 6: Friday, March 1

Per R3I3: Monday, March 4

DejeunerTOK: Feb. 28 (J3 period) – All lunch peeps should make it this day. Then you will not have to come Feb. 27 (N) if at lunch. **Please inform your study hall teacher but I’ll send an email.

Resources to Help:

Describing Food and Wine (blocked at school)

Sensory Vocabulary Infographic

Over 101 Words to Describe Food

Dialogue describing food – what is “More-ish”?

Assessing Food Texture

IRON CHEF theme Ingredients List (in alpha order)

Science of the Kitchen : TEXTURE


Breaking Down the Senses Part III: Scent

How Many Senses Do We Actually Have?

Our Olfactory Sense

“Memories, imagination, old sentiments, and associations are more readily reached through the sense of smell than through any other channel”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes


BBC Smell and Taste Series Part I: 

The Importance of Olfaction Beyond Smell



SCIENCE OF SCENT (collection of very cool Psychology Today) articles



THE VIVID WORLD OF ODORS (what’s a “smell-face”?)


The Man Who Couldn’t Smell (BBC Explorer)

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Luca Turin at TED: The Science of Scent


Breaking Down the Senses Part II: TOUCH and HEARING




Why PLACEBOS WORK – How perceptions of price affect the Placebo Effect

BBC Series Touch and Vision: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3   Part 4



Kissing Device Sends Long-Distance Smooch

Gene Tweak Opens Sensory Black Box

10 Psychological Effects of Nonsexual Touch

Art Installation: Marrying the Best Fairy Tale Kiss

The Body Language of Touch (multi-cultural perspective)

Hands-On Research: The Science of Touch (includes video)

Dating with Science – Touch!

Touch Illusions

Touch and Technology: The Cutting Edge of Haptics

VIDEO: Surround Haptics – Immersive Tactile Experiences

VIDEO: 4 D Movies 

Part II: Our Auditory Sense

Juliun Treasure: The 4 Ways Sound Affects Us

What is Up with Noises? (The Science of Sound) by Vi Hart

How Your Ear Works

Juliun Treasure: Why Architects Need to Use Their Ears

5 Ways to Listen Better

This video also introduces the “Secret Senses”!

Acoustics in Classrooms


The World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive

The Cocktail Party Effect

Wired for Sound: Music and the Brain

How does Sound Affect our Creativity?

Make the City Sound Better (Sound Artistry)

History of Sound (Acoustic / Electric / Digital)

Beethoven’s Deafness Influenced His Music (Study)

Does Sound Influence Taste?

McLuhan’s Medium is the Message: A Kitchen Sink of Sound

Opsound Sound pool – a Sound Art blog


We will be watching and discussing many of the videos in class, and you will be expected to TWEET in the backchannel as you process what is happening in the film or TED talk. The tweet chat will be archived here.

On your own time you will need to explore the other related links and react to them. Because you are also working on your color project, we will try something simple and more brief:

1. Choose 6 articles to peruse for each category (Touch and Sound) -so, a total of 12.

2. Respond to them with a 1 sentence summary of what they are about (how would you synthesize what they are discussing into one succinct and informative sentence?

3. Write 1 question you have that emerged from each reading.

4. Finally curate 1 article or video related to EITHER sound or touch and post to your blog post, also providing a 1 sentence summary and 1 question.

TOTAL sentences= 13, TOTAL questions = 13

DUE: February 21 for period 6; Feb. 22 for all other classes