If your sense of smell is impaired, your enjoyment of food is diminished. In fact, an intact 'smelling sense' accounts for 75% of the flavor you perceive. If you lose your sense of smell, you may not be able to taste what you are eating. The flavors of coffee and chocolate are largely sensed by their aroma. If you need to be convinced of this, take this test. Close your eyes and hold your nose. Have someone put some food in your mouth. Chances are, you won't be able to tell what it is.
As we get older, our taste buds reduce in number and size. By the time we are 70, you have half the taste buds you had when you were 20. The taste buds at the front of the tongue are sweet and salty. They are the first to go. Those on the sides and back which are bitter and sour, are affected later.
Aside from aging, the three major causes to loss of smell and taste are:
1. Viral infection
2. Head injuries
3. Nasal disorders
So, this Thanksgiving, if you find that your food no longer tastes like it should or you don't perceive aromas as well as you did, let your doctor know. It's important for you to have enjoyment out of your food this holiday. If you do have a problem, or think you do, eat lots of highly seasoned foods. Combining hot and cold temperatures in the same dish may help some. Try crunchy foods, such as nuts or croutons to enhance your foods. Flavor is what makes eating such a pleasure. It's defined as the interaction of aroma, taste, texture, appearance, temperature and spiciness. Happy Thanksgiving! Be thankful!