First, there were four basic tastes: sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Then scientists said they’d uncovered a fifth: umami, the savory flavor of, say, truffles, meat and anchovies, summoned by monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Now researchers at Purdue University say they’ve found evidence that there’s a sixth basic taste: fat.
Fat — the longest of the three fatty acids you can find in a mouthful of steak or a dribble of olive oil — “is likely another one of the basic tastes. I think we have pretty clear evidence for this,” Purdue professor of nutrition science Richard Mattes, the new study’s lead author, told the Washington Post.