Ryan Tatsumoto
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Human beings are able to detect five basic flavor sensations: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.

Sweet requires no description. Everyone starts life with an affinity for sweetness, whether it’s sweetened beverages, baked goods, candies or fruits. In the 50th, we tend to also have an affinity for the salty. Friends from the Mainland often tell me that our local dishes tend to be on the salty side, whether it’s flavored with shoyu, fish sauce or plain old table salt. Maybe it’s because our temperate climate causes us to perspire more compared to those in the upper 49 and we’re trying to replace those lost minerals. Or maybe it’s just that we have saltier palates.

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