Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ten Non-Food Ways to Use Taste in Writing

Descriptions that draw on the senses of sight or hearing sometimes seem to come more naturally than some of the other senses, such as taste. Even though taste can evoke powerful memories and associations, it's usually only related to eating and food (as follower Marcia Hoehne pointed out in commenting on an earlier post about writing with the five senses). That got me thinking.

Are there other situations for using the sense of taste that aren't related to food? Here's what I've come up with from my perspective as a children's writer:

1. Snow

2. Medicines

3. Wind/air/dust blown into your mouth

4. Swimming in a pool

5. Swimming in the ocean

6. Nervous behaviour - Some kids chew on clothing, pencils, Lego bricks, and other non-food substances.

7. Blood, sweat or other body substances

8. Dirt (e.g., eaten on a dare or randomly during play)

9. Toothpaste, dental tools and substances

10. Shampoo, soap or other stuff that accidentally gets in your mouth

Can you think of any others? (Keep it clean, kids may read this blog.)


  1. Great thinking. At times, I see emotion being a taste in the mouth and it's quite effective.

  2. This is a really good list. I'm printing this out. Totally forget that taste doesn't have to involve food.

    Ha, the first thing that comes to my is sort of cliche maybe (I've seen it in many novels) -- the bitter taste of pennies.

  3. I'm reading Charlotte's Web to my son. It has a great passage about the tastes of summer, including dandelion stems and clover. I remember sucking on honeysuckle blossoms as a kid.

  4. Dog and cat food. Seriously, that was what came to mind. I tried it as a kid (made sense, then). It's not that great. :)

  5. Great ideas, everyone! I have tasted flowers (I think it was honeysuckle, too, Kate) and dog food as a kid.

  6. Very Interesting post. I also remember tasting honeysuckle blossoms.

    I think smell is one of the easier of the senses to remember as a child. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to write my own five senses memory list.


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