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'Birthplace dictates taste preferences'

As per a study at University of Nottingham, birthplace not only decides your accent but also what you like to eat and drink.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2009 17:33 IST

Your birthplace not only decides your accent but also what you like to eat and drink, a new study has shown.

If scientists from the University of Nottingham are to be believed, people's culinary preferences could be broken down like regional accents and are highly dependent on an area's history.

The researchers, who surveyed 13,000 people on behalf of Costa Coffee, found that Scots specifically seek rich and creamy flavours that impact at the back of the tongue but people from the North East prefer tastes that trigger saliva juices at the tip, reports The Times.

Greg Tucker, a food psychologist, and Andy Taylor, Professor of Flavour Technology at the University of Nottingham and an adviser to Heston Blumenthal, the chef, claimed that the study was based on the fact that different parts of the tongue tend to pick up varying flavours.

The front of the tongue is sensitive to sweet flavours and the back picks up the taste of bitter foods. The sides of the front of the tongue usually detect sour flavours, while the middle tastes salty foods and a little-known taste called umami, best represented by soy sauce.

Taylor said: "Taste is determined by our genetic make-up and influenced by our upbringing and experience with flavours.

"Just as with spoken dialects, where accent is placed on different syllables and vowel formations, people from different regions have developed enhanced sensitivities to certain taste sensations and seek foods that trigger these."

Tucker, managing director of the Marketing Clinic, based in Cambridge, said: "Taste preferences are predetermined by a combinations of economics, culture and genetics. 'Taste dialect' is a good phrase because just as you get dialects in any other countries, so you get taste dialects that are driven by different factors."

First Published: Jun 19, 2009 15:07 IST