Some foods just seem to go together naturally, like red wine and steak, soda and hamburgers, pickles and pastrami sandwiches, chocolate cake and milk (or coffee!). Researchers are studying our taste buds to try to figure out why.
One theory is that astringent foods like red wine and pickles balance out the grease of steaks and pastrami. In the October 16th edition of the New York Times, Sindya N. Bhanoo quotes sensory biologist Paul Breslin as saying, "They cancel each other out, so to speak. We want our mouth to be lubricated just right."
The cells within our tongue's taste buds only live for only 10-14 days, but the taste buds themselves never die, and the new cells don't seem to change the way we react to the foods we eat.
Bhanoo quotes Breslin as saying, "This is like a fundamental, universal, global principle of gastronomy you see all over the world. If you ask a chef, they'd say they know about this already. What’s interesting now is we have an explanation of why this is happening."
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