PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Harrop
Taste expert Linda Bartoshuk examines David Pogue's tongue, counting the number of fungiform papillae on the surface.

What are the secrets behind your favorite foods? Why are some treats — like chocolate chip cookies — delectable, while others — like cookies made with mealworms — disgusting? You may think you understand what makes something sweet, salty or bitter, but David Pogue gets a taste of a much more complicated truth as he ventures into labs and kitchens where everything from apple pie to Thanksgiving turkey to juicy grasshoppers is diced, sliced, dissected and put under the microscope. If scientists can uncover exactly what’s behind the mouth-watering flavors and textures we take for granted every day, could they help us enjoy our food more — without packing on the pounds?

Watch Can I Eat That? Preview on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.

NOVA ScienceNow, Wednesday at 10 p.m. on PBS 6.

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