What do you call that sensation that you feel when you eat raw diospyros? IO don’t know the actual name. It also happens when you try to eat banana peel and you get that sensation in your mouth. What’s that called?

It's like when you taste raw courgettes, or sometimes from unripened grape skin. The reason I ask is because I’ve no idea what this sensation is called in English, because I’ve never heard of native English speakers talk about it.

2 Answers 2


I believe the word you are looking for is astringent.

  • According to your link, the word is actually astringency: "Astringency is also the dry, puckering mouthfeel caused by tannins"
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 12:07
  • 1
    @oerkelens, yes, astringency is then noun, astringent is the adjective.
    – Dangph
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:07

What you describe seems to be what wine-tasters know as tannin, the taste of which may be described as tannic.

The specific effect is described in tea as astringency:

Tannins give tea astringency, colour, and some flavour.

  • 3
    An awful lot of people would simply use bitter, but I agree astringent, tannic are a bit more "specific". Plus people will often use variations on mouth-puckering. Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:18
  • But bitter is an actual taste sensation, whereas astringency is something different. We tend to be careless in describing tastes though (like sweet and sour being opposites...), and, yes, this effect is indeed often called bitterness.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 13:54
  • The difference between bitter and astringent is subjective even if we suppose there are archetypal substances which could be said to "objectively" generate such taste sensations in a "non-overlapping" way. You may be quite convinced that bitter is an actual taste sensation, whereas astringency is something different, but I honestly doubt whatever distinction you intend would be universally (or even, generally), recognised by others. People are usually pretty hopeless at describing tastes, in my experience. Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 14:36
  • @FumbleFingers: hopeless as they may be, but sweet, sour, bitter and salt are mostly happening on the tongue. None of them makes your gums literally stick to your teeth in the way astringency does. So apart from taste, there is a clear physical difference in this case. Which of course does not keep people from calling that "hey my gums are like glued sandpaper against my teeth" - feeling a bitter taste.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 14:58
  • @FumbleFingers Bitter and astringent are distinct, just like salty and sweet are distinct. People may not know how to describe them, but that doesn't mean that the difference is subjective.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 19:19

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