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What Are Taste Buds?

Taste Buds

If you love ice cream, thank your taste buds. Without them, you couldn't savor that satisfying sweet treat — or anything else. Tiny bumps all over your tongue called papillae (say: puh-PILL-ee) contain taste buds, which have very sensitive microscopic hairs called microvilli (say: my-kro-VIH-ly). Those tiny hairs send messages to the brain about how something tastes, so you know if it's sweet, sour, bitter, or salty.