The Six Pillars of Taste

Imagine a world without taste? Unimaginable. According to WebMD, humans have between 2000 and 10,000 taste buds in total.  These tiny sensory organs have nerve endings, and when you take a bite of food, a chemical reaction occurs. Each allows us to taste a range of flavours, including sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savoury.

In April 2024, Jan Hendrik attended a Datu Wellness Retreat in the heart of Tuscany upon the invitation of his friend Constantin Bjerke, who initiated this project to introduce Europe to India’s skilled and experienced healers and wellness practitioners. 

During his stay at the retreat, he met a chef named Asia Kostka. She studied Psychology at the University of Boston and, over the years, worked alongside top chefs and grandmothers in various countries to discover the essence of cooking. For Asia, Ayurvedic cuisine has enabled her to explore the variety of taste pillars. 

Ayurvedic cuisine, which has its historical roots in India and has evolved over two millennia. This cuisine uses fresh, seasonal foods and incorporates six tastes, called Rashas, which help prevent cravings – tastes like sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy, and astringent.