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What Lemon tastes like? salty? or lemoney?

Edit:

Thanks for the answers guys, I know sour is one of the basic tastes but I thought gooseberry tastes sour. If Lemon tastes sour then what does gooseberry taste like?

In our native language Telugu, both has different tastes and meanings.

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Lemons are sour, as others have said, but of course lemons are lemony, too. However, I'd be more likely to use lemony when describing something other than a lemon (such as a lemon meringue pie, for example). –  J.R. Dec 21 '13 at 9:53
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They both are sour in the same way that a chocolate bar and a candy cane are both sweet, but they have different accompanying flavors. –  Jim Dec 21 '13 at 10:29
    
I agree with @Jim – it's pretty hard to ascribe just one adjective to describe a taste; each adjective adds to the description. Just think about all the ways reviewers describe a good wine, for example. –  J.R. Dec 21 '13 at 10:49
    
Do you have vinegar? It is mildly sour. Gooseberries are not sour, they are fruity-sweet. Sometimes unripe berries are sour. Unripe apples are sour. If you have rhubarb, you're all set. –  anongoodnurse Dec 21 '13 at 11:11
    
Isn't vinegar more sharp than sour? –  Mari-Lou A Dec 21 '13 at 22:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Lemons taste sour.

sour (comparative sourer, superlative sourest)
1. Having an acidic, sharp or tangy taste.
Lemons have a sour taste.

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A sour taste, such as that of a lemon, has the unique property of activating one's salivary glands on contact. Salty, bitter, and sweet things do not cause this experience.

This is such a remarkable occurrence with sour tasting foods that if you simply concentrate on imagining the taste of lemons or limes (if you are familiar with them), you will often get a sudden increase in the flow of saliva. (We sometimes use this occurrence in medicine as a test of salivary gland function!)

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Apparently, this salivation thing is also true of umami: “Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a sensation of furriness on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth.” –  tchrist Dec 21 '13 at 6:22
    
You know, I almost considered it did occur with umami, then decided it didn't. Thanks for the correction. I will pay more attention in Japanese restaurants from now on. :-) –  anongoodnurse Dec 21 '13 at 6:28

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