Researchers believe the astringent in liquids like wine and the fat in certain foods, such as meat, go together because they sit opposite of the sensory spectrum in the mouth and complement one another when it comes to texture in the mouth.
The findings, which were reported in this week's issue of Current Biology, point to a new way of thinking about good and bad eating habits.
Authors of the study say the way food makes a person's mouth feel has a lot to do with why certain foods are chosen.
According to researchers, astringent liquids like wines feel rough and dry in the mouth, while fats are usually slippery. The two substances feel opposite in the mouth, but when mixed together, create a pleasant sensation. Seeking this type of balance or feel in our mouths may explain why we eat the things we do. Understanding these choices may help nutritionists and doctors guide patients to select complementary but healthier foods.