Writers need to learn how to describe the senses. We mostly do this by showing and not telling and one of the ways we can show is through the senses. Readers want to experience what your characters see, smell, hear, taste, and touch.
In this post, I will write about words that describe taste.
the sensation of flavour perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance
Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)
It is important to note that you can only taste four flavours with your tongue. The flavours are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. (Some people believe there are five if you accept a fifth flavour called ‘Umami’.)
Any other flavours you taste are a combination of these four flavours, or are smelled with your nose. This is why you don’t enjoy food when you have a blocked nose.
As writers, we still need to know more than four words when we’re describing flavours. Writers Write is your one-stop resource for writers so I found these 20 options, with meanings, that you could use in your writing.
20 Ways to Describe Taste
- acidic – very sour
- astringent – an astringent taste is one that is strong and bitter
- bitter – a strong sharp taste that is not sweet
- bitter-sweet – tasting bitter and sweet at the same time
- brackish – has a slight taste of salt and is therefore not pure
- hot – contains a lot of spices that create a burning feeling in your mouth
- mature – has been left to develop a pleasant strong flavour
- mild – does not have a strong taste
- ripe – has a strong flavour
- robust – has a lot of flavour
- savoury – tasting of salt or spices and not sweet
- seasoned – containing seasonings to improve flavour
- sharp – has a strong and bitter flavour
- sour – with a taste like a lemon
- spicy – has a strong hot flavour
- sweet-and-sour – contains both sweet and sour flavours
- syrupy – thick, sweet, and sticky
- tart – a slightly sour taste
- unsalted – not flavoured with salt
- watery – pale, or not strong
Source for words: Macmillan Dictionary/Thesaurus
Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.
by Amanda Patterson
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- 106 Ways To Describe Sounds
- 209 Words To Describe Touch
- How To Write A Beginning And An Ending That Readers Will Never Forget
- 10 Elementary Tips For Writers From Sherlock Holmes
- The Daily Word Counts of 39 Famous Authors
- 5 Incredibly Simple Ways To Help Writers Show And Not Tell