Name the losing sense

This is purely hypothetical, but what if you knew you were going to lose one sense as you get older and you could choose it now? Which sense would you pick to lose? … [Read more...]

Man lost smell, then taste

Jason Feifer lost his sense of smell as a child, and shortly afterward, his sense of taste. To him, "vanilla is chocolate is peanut butter is custard." He shows us what it's like to dine in a resturant without these senses at Men's Health. … [Read more...]

Questionable leftovers in the fridge

questionable-left-over-soup-in-the-fridge

It's unnerving not to be able to smell if the soup leftover in the fridge is spoiled or not. I don't remember how long it's been in there. Maybe since last week. It looks okay, but I can't smell for sure. What to do? … [Read more...]

Fresh vanilla beans inspire new tradition

Pods-on-the-vine-of-the-vanilla-orchid-Vanilla-planifolia

Vanilla beans grow on orchids, something I didn't know until a dear friend showed me the budding plants in her yard. Each year she pollinates the orchids by hand using a small paintbrush and hopes for a crop. Last year she collected about … [Read more...]

Lose smell, keep taste

strawberries-dusted-with-sugar

When we're sick with stuffy noses, we don't smell or taste much of anything. This experience forms the basis for a common misconception that if we lose our sense of smell, we also lose our sense of taste. But a group of researchers studying the effect of smell on taste have reached a different … [Read more...]

Twenty year old blue carpet

I walked into a university classroom about five minutes early for a public lecture. I found a seat in the back and plunked down into a creaky armchair. The room was nearly full of students, many of whom had removed their shoes and were wiggling their toes into the well-worn speckled blue carpet. I … [Read more...]

Miniature milk chocolate bar

I found a few pieces of leftover Halloween candy sitting in a bowl next to a toothpick holder at our favorite neighborhood restaurant. We were coming in for dinner and waiting for a table. I picked up a miniature milk chocolate bar. It's an iconic American brand with a town named after it. … [Read more...]

Common chemical sense

I've heard of common sense, but common chemical sense? Turns out that the human sense of smell includes a third pathway, called the common chemical sense.* (The other two are the olfactory sense and the nose-throat pathway.) Common chemical sense works through thousands of nerve endings on the … [Read more...]

Super sense combines smell with taste

Our senses of smell and taste are anatomically different senses, with smell detection happening in the nose and taste happening on the tongue through taste buds. Yet they work together forming a super sense, something foodies and food makers know well. But how? Turns out we humans have something … [Read more...]

Confinement

Mishu and I visit a nursing home, and he tugs me toward the bed of an elderly woman. He sidles up to her and gently rests his chin near her frail hand. She sizes up his wolf-cub face and then smiles tenderly at him. She palms his fluffy head a few times. She looks up at me with cloudy blue … [Read more...]