Of the five senses involved in eating, taste is the most important. It is our most direct, embodied encounter with food; it affords pleasure and disgust; and it is the one sense we cannot help but use. Yet taste is more than something that just happens in the mouth: it is also the leading metaphor in aesthetics. Taste refers to our discrimination regarding art objects and our standards for artistic judgments. To have taste means the ability to discern aesthetic qualities in things. It is a particular kind of knowledge especially appropriate for artworks – one that bridges epistemology and philosophy of art.
When we direct aesthetic attention to food and drink, however, we find that the parallel to artworks is tested.