Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Brooke. Brooke Wonders, “why is a lemon sour” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Brooke!
On a hot summer day, what do you crave when you've been playing in the heat for several hours? If you're like many kids, there's nothing quite like the tangy taste of an ice-cold glass of lemonade.
Both sweet and tart, lemonade soothes your parched throat and leaves you wanting more. Some kids love lemonade so much that they set up their own lemonade stand to sell this delicious drink to their neighbors!
To get your own lemonade stand going, you only need a few simple ingredients: a pitcher, water, sugar, and some lemons. Just be careful when you cut into those lemons! They don't taste quite the same as they do when you mix their juice with sugar and water.
If you've ever taken a bite out of a lemon, you already know they pack some serious sour power. This is because they contain citric acid, which is a weak organic acid found in many fruits and vegetables.
True to their name, citrus fruits have particularly high concentrations of citric acid. Lemons and limes have even higher concentrations of citric acid than their sweeter citrus cousins, such as oranges and grapefruits.
When you take a bite of a lemon — or any food — your taste buds interpret what you taste. Like little receptors, your taste buds gather information and send it to your brain. When food comes in contact with the taste buds, they send a message to your brain telling it whether the food is sweet, salty, bitter, or sour.
The tip of your tongue senses sweet and salty foods, while the back of your tongue senses bitter flavors. When you bite into a lemon, the citric acid activates taste buds along the sides and center of your tongue. These taste buds let your brain know when something is sour.