Together, your sense of taste and smell provide the flavor.
Did your mother ever tell you to plug your nose when eating vegetables? Especially the ones you didn't like ... maybe broccoli? Mothers are wise and know that taste and smell directly affect what flavor the food has.
It is true! If you plug your nose, things do taste different. You may not be able to taste it at all. Just try it. Have someone help you with the potato-apple-pear experiment.
Most people cannot tell the difference between the three when they cannot see, smell, or feel the item. If you can, it is possible that you can distinguish the different textures in your mouth. There is the possibility of being able to taste them, but repeat the experiment without plugging your nose. It will become obvious which slice is the potato, apple, or pear, even without seeing or feeling it.
It seems odd but our sense of smell directly affects how we taste food. Our sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 times more sensitive than our sense of tase. Yes, our sense of taste is able to differentiate flavors, but it works much better when our nose gives us an idea of what we are about to taste.
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