Think about it: aromatics are important. Your perception of flavour is what your taste buds are telling you and what your olfactory — smell — system is telling you. So, people who cannot smell, who have anosmia, have a narrower range of flavours to experience than others. The human nose has roughly 400 types of scent receptors that can detect at least 1 trillion different odours. Our smelling function is carried out by two small odour-detecting patches – made up of about five or six million yellowish cells – high up in the nasal passages. By contrast, on average, the human tongue has 2,000–8,000 taste buds, and we can basically distinguish sense just five established basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami (savoury). So, the human nose has a great deal more to tell than the tongue does.
Tomatoes are iconic
Do you remember that scene from The Godfather (1972) when “Don Vito Corleone” sits in his garden underneath the tomato vines, in the sun, plays with his grandson “Anthony” – and then drops dead? People have wondered, if he had died let’s say, amongst roses, would the meaning of the scene have changed? Probably it would have.
Don Corleone dies amongst plants – sun-ripened, trellised tomatoes – that have been an intrinsic part of the food culture of Mediterranean countries, and of Sicily, since the mid-16th century. Sicily is where he was born and from where his empire sprung. He dies, in fact, closing the circle of life, right back where he started from.
Tomatoes are an iconic fruit; nothing smells and tastes as much like warm soil and sunshine than a sun-ripened tomato. If, of course, it has not had its flavonoids bred right out of it!
Recent research has confirmed that most generic store-bought tomatoes are indeed, as we all know, tasteless. As humans have tried to develop a tough-skinned, slow-ripening commercial tomato that would survive the rigours of long-distance transport, it appears the flavour genes got left behind, and with that, much of the pleasure of eating it. There is a link between our tastebuds and our noses, and if the fragrance gets left out, the taste pretty much dissipates as well. These supermarket tomatoes have a gene missing, called “TomLoxC”. Below is the full article from The Los Angeles Times.
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