Smell and taste play an important role in the daily life of flavor experts, such as vinologists and baristas. The world famous wine expert Robert Parker insured his ability to smell and taste for one million dollars. The daily activities of flavor experts revolve around smelling, tasting, and describing their sensations to others. We investigate how smell and flavor expertise affects language and cognition.
The average person in the Netherlands struggles to name smells and flavors, like their Western peers. But wine and coffee experts routinely describe smells and flavors as part of their daily life. So are experts better than lay people at describing smells and flavors? Ilja Croijmans’ PhD project investigates Dutch odor and flavor experts.
In Iran, there is a rich culture of using herbs and spices in cuisine and medicine. Afrooz Rafiee is investigating whether different types of expertise influences people’s abilities to name odors.