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Clairgustance

Clairgustance or "Clear Tasting" is the ability to receive taste impressions from a spirit. In the field of parapsychology, clairgustance is defined as a form of extrasensory perception that allegedly allows one to taste a substance without putting anything in one's mouth. It is claimed that those who possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste.

Taste (or, more formally, gustation) is a form of direct chemoreception and is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food and poisons. In humans and many other vertebrate animals the sense of taste partners with the less direct sense of smell, in the brain's perception of flavor. In the West, experts traditionally identified four taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Eastern experts traditionally identified a fifth, called umami (savory). More recently, psychophysicists and neuroscientists have suggested other taste categories (umami and fatty acid taste most prominently, as well as the sensation of metallic and water tastes, although the latter is commonly disregarded due to the phenomenon of taste adaptation. Taste is a sensory function of the central nervous system. The receptor cells for taste in humans are found on the surface of the tongue, along the soft palate, and in the epithelium of the pharynx and epiglottis.

For a long period, it has been commonly accepted that there are a finite number of "basic tastes" by which all foods and tastes can be grouped. Just like with primary colours, these "basic tastes" only apply to the human perception, i.e.. the different sorts of tastes our tongue can identify. Up until the 2000s, this was considered to be a group of four basic tastes. More recently, a fifth taste, Umami, was added by a large number of authorities in this field.


Umami is the name for the taste sensation produced by compounds such as glutamate, and are commonly found in fermented and aged foods. In English, it is also described as "meatiness", "relish", or "savoriness". The Japanese word comes from umai for yummy, keen, or nice. Umami is now the commonly used term by taste scientists. The same taste is referred to as xianwèi in Chinese cooking. Umami is considered a fundamental taste in Chinese and Japanese cooking, but is not discussed as much in Western cuisine.

Humans have taste receptors specifically for the detection of the amino acids, e.g. glutamic acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are found in meats, cheese, fish, and other protein-heavy foods. Examples of food containing glutamate (and thus strong in umami) are beef, lamb, parmesan and roquefort cheese as well as soy sauce and fish sauce. The glutamate taste sensation is most intense in combination with sodium ions, as found in table salt. Sauces with umami and salty tastes are very popular for cooking, such as worcestershire sauce for Western cuisines and soy sauce and fish sauce for Asian cuisines.

  • Basic Tastes

  • Bitterness

  • Saltiness

  • Sourness

  • Sweetness

  • Umami

The tongue can also feel other sensations, not generally called tastes per se or included in the five human tastes. These are largely detected by the somatosensory system.

 

  • Dryness

  • Metallicness

  • Prickliness or hotness

  • Coolness

  • Numbness

  • Heartiness (Kokumi)

  • Temperature