English Words for Different Tastes and Flavors

Sweet – This term is used to describe a taste that is sugary and pleasant to the taste buds, often associated with desserts and fruits.
This cake is incredibly sweet and delicious.

Sour – A taste sensation that is tart or sharp, typically associated with citrus fruits or fermented products.
The lemonade was too sour for me to drink without puckering up.

Salty – Flavor characteristic of salt; often enhances the taste of food and is commonly found in snacks like chips and nuts.
These pretzels are just salty enough to satisfy my cravings.

Bitter – A sharp, pungent taste or smell that is not sweet, often considered unpleasant if too strong.
The medicine left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Savory – Refers to flavors that are not sweet but are rich and appetizing, often associated with meats, cheeses, and herbs.
The stew was incredibly savory, filled with herbs and spices.

Umami – A taste that is meaty or savory, often described as the fifth taste alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Mushrooms add an umami flavor to vegetarian dishes that’s very satisfying.

Spicy – Having strong flavors resulting from the presence of spices. Can also refer to a sensation of heat in the mouth.
This curry is too spicy for me; it makes my eyes water!

Mild – A gentle, soft, or subtle flavor that is not overpowering.
I prefer mild salsa because it complements the food without hiding its taste.

Tangy – A sharp taste or flavor immediately noticeable to the tongue, often found in foods like yogurt, sour cream, and some candies.
The salad dressing was tangy and refreshing.

Rich – Full of flavor, often implies that the taste is strong and has a high level of fat content.
This chocolate cake is very rich, so a small piece is enough to satisfy.

Smoky – Having a flavor or aroma reminiscent of smoke, typically achieved through cooking over an open fire or adding smoked ingredients.
The smoky taste of the barbecue ribs is amazing.

Fruity – Tasting or smelling strongly of fruit; can be used to describe artificial flavors as well as fresh fruit.
This wine has a light, fruity flavor that pairs well with seafood.

Earthy – A taste or smell reminiscent of fresh soil or the natural aroma of the ground and nature.
These beets have an earthy flavor that’s really grounded and hearty.

Nutty – Flavor reminiscent of nuts; can refer to the actual taste of nuts or a characteristic flavor similar to nuts found in other foods.
There’s a subtle nutty undertone in this coffee that I really enjoy.

Zesty – A lively, pleasing taste often associated with citrus or fresh flavors that invigorate the palate.
The lemon zest adds a zesty kick to the dish.

Herbal – Flavor characteristics reminiscent of herbs, which can range from sweet to bitter and add a fresh, aromatic element to dishes.
The soup has a wonderful herbal aroma from the thyme and rosemary.

Acidic – Tasting sharp or tart, often associated with a higher level of acidity like in lemons or vinegar.
Tomatoes can be quite acidic, which is why they’re great in sauces.

Buttery – Rich, creamy flavor reminiscent of butter; often used to describe certain textures as well.
These croissants are perfectly flaky and buttery.

Peppery – Having a spicy quality without being hot; this flavor can be associated with actual black pepper or other mild spices.
The arugula adds a nice peppery flavor to the salad.

Garlicky – A strong, pungent taste or smell characteristic of garlic.
The garlic bread has a robust garlicky scent that fills the kitchen.

Vinegary – Having a sour taste like vinegar, often used to describe certain condiments or pickled foods.
These pickles are quite vinegary, which makes them a perfect side dish.

Sweet-and-sour – A taste combination of sweetness and sourness, often found in various Asian dishes and sauces.
The sweet-and-sour chicken is a popular dish at the restaurant.

Seasoned – Enhanced or improved in flavor by the addition of salt, herbs, or spices.
The chef seasoned the vegetables perfectly; they’re full of flavor.

Understanding the diverse vocabulary related to tastes and flavors not only enriches your culinary experiences but also enhances your descriptive abilities in everyday conversation about food. Whether you’re discussing recipes, dining out, or simply enjoying a meal, these terms can help you articulate the complex and delightful sensations of eating.

Learn a Language With AI 5x Faster

Talkpal is AI-powered language tutor. Learn 57+ languages 5x faster with revolutionary technology.