How you find something taste is determined by the taste organs on your tongue, by what you smell with your nose and by what you see with your eyes. How is it that food actually tastes different when you have a cold?
First, you taste with tongue. With your tongue you can actually only distinguish 4 flavors: salty, sour, sweet and bitter. Some people call it a fifth flavor: umami, the Japanese word for savory. You taste every taste in a different place on your tongue. This way you taste something sweet on the tip of your tongue, and something sour on the side of your tongue!
The rest of what you taste is determined by what you smell with your nose. You can do the following test: close your nose and eat a candy. You will taste that it is sweet, but not exactly what taste the candy has! So your nose is directly related to your taste.
Your eyes also influence your taste. If you like something to look good, you will find it tastes slightly better than if something looks dirty.
catch a cold
If you have a cold, your nose is blocked. As a result, you can smell less well. We just learned that your nose is related to your taste. So if you can smell less well with your nose, you can also taste less well. As a result, your food tastes different or you don’t even taste anything when you have a cold!