I understand that flavours are basically molecules that stimulate taste receptors and that some flavours are water soluble while others are fat soluble.

Does solubility enhance or diminish perception of that flavour? Why?


  • All you experience with your tongue is the classic sweet, sour, salt, bitter, umami. Flavour itself is a result of interaction of chemicals with receptors on nerves in the back of the nasal cavity (which is linked to the mouth).
    – bob1
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 7:37
  • This reminds me of the classic "What do I drink if my curry is too hot?" question.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 17:01
  • Welcome to SA! However, you're asking multiple different questions here. Can you edit your question to narrow down what you're asking to one specific question?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 0:16
  • 1
    Coffee would be water-soluble. So water spreads the flavor (compare drinking a cup of coffee vs. chewing some beans). But other things (e.g. the fat and protein in milk) do not, and may even mask it.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:43
  • 1
    And yeah, mouthfeel is completely different and for that matter unaswerable; it's completely subjective unless within very narrow parameters (e.g. "how do I make the mouthfeel of this recipe less gritty").
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


Just in case more clarification is needed: "soluble" means that the flavor will disperse in that medium, which enhances the flavor of the spice, food, or herb, because more of it can be tasted.

I don't know if there's a word for substances which diminish, or mask, the flavor of certain things (like milk with hot peppers), but that would be the opposite of solubility.

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