This is really interesting, because there are many depths and aspects of interest in taste coming from the tongue.
The tongue is the most richly innervated and endowed with sensations of ANY organ in the body. It can detect proprioception, that is position of itself and all parts of itself. Further, because the tongue can change shape, position, and move all over inside the mouth, this shows it has a very sensitive nature. No other organ can move in so many ways, in 3-D other than the tongue. It helps us speak, drives good diction, and allows many more sounds to be made, than can be made without it.
It can feel pain, points, and feel something moving over its surface, too. Senses hot and cold and the cools/warmths in between. Can detect vibratory senses, and all of the senses in our fingers, are ALSO within the tongue’s vast capabilities.
But the very most interesting is that of taste. It can do that too, and no where else is this seen. There are said to be a number of basic flavors, but this is likely not complete. Sour/acids, sugars/sweet; bitter, for avoiding alkaloids, many of which are very toxic; the milk taste, also of meat; salt flavors, salt being necessary to our very survival.
But there are others, in fact, without limits. There is the taste of metal, when we put a penny on the tongue, for instance. And related to that metallic taste is the taste of blood, and why that’s special, a distinctive flavor there is very much an important issue. Self survival, as well as tasting meat. Who has not tasted the startling & special flavor of blood from a cut lip? OR a bitten tongue? It DOES get our attention, is not?
Then there are those tastes without limit which are combination tastes. We taste a dominant flavor of a fruit for instance. And then compare that taste to the bread we had several minutes ago, and it’s NO longer the Same. Flavors can meld/mix with other flavors and create unusual combination flavors without end, or compound flavors.
Those are endless. Even the spicy flavor, burning sensation we get with peppers and black pepper are additional tastes, as well. And those can create compound flavors with tomatoes and other fruits, such as strawberries.
Now, do this calculation. If we have a mixture of flavors, the combination of the flavors is the Factorial (!), of 1 X 2 X 3 X 4, and so forth, which becomes a VERY great number within a few flavors. With 10 different flavors interacting in comparison, there are potentially 3.6 millions of flavor combinations possible. AND, consider moreover that when a new taste combo is create, THAT can interact with another 3.6 M flavors, to potentially create more kinds.
So, likely we can explore the worlds of compound flavors forever and even taste, like those who explore a Mandelbrot design find a part no one has EVER seen before, either. The same with unlimited flavors. A unique flavor which no one else has EVER tasted before!!
This can be done by empirical introspection and asking fo valid questions of the tasters. The comparison process is uniquely capable of doing this, as has been explained in detail, before in Empirical Introspection and the Comparison Process.
Who knows what unusual and interesting flavors can be created by careful, systematic exploration, which Could take the world of cuisine by storm, once they are found?
Endlessness of flavors. Unlimitted kinds/varieties of tastes. Brought to you by your tongue!!
These are the depths within depths even of our lowly tongues. A Near infinity of flavors!!
Who’d have thunk it?