Sickness or rich foods can leave your palate and taste buds overpowered, which can leave you with unpleasant breath and an unpleasant feeling and taste in your mouth. Or you might be attending a food- or wine-tasting event where you need to cleanse your palate between samples. Regardless of the reason, there are several simple and inexpensive things you can do to cleanse your palate and taste buds.
Taste buds are tiny sense organs on the tongue that respond to sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors. They send signals to your brain when they come in contact with food, so the basic way to cleanse your taste buds lies is to remove all food particles, including trace liquids, from your tongue. The palate is the roof of the mouth. It usually needs to be cleaned only when a thick, gooey food like peanut butter comes in contact with it. Clean your palate with crusty foods like bread or with the tip of your tongue.
Eat a few wedges of citrus fruit with a sprinkling of mint on it. The acid in the citrus will neutralize food traces in your mouth, allowing you to be able to taste and enjoy your food choices without contamination. Oranges, grapefruits and lemons are all good candidates for this. A gentle rinse with water after consuming the citrus will flush away the acidic aftertaste.
Water at room temperature is an excellent solution for rinsing your palate and tongue. Drink a few ounces, or swish a few ounces in your mouth, then swallow or spit. Very warm or very cold water is less effective at neutralizing residual food particles that are still affecting your taste buds. Drink the water slowly so it has time to pass through your mouth completely.
Dry, unsalted crackers serve two purposes. First, the texture of the crackers helps to remove food particles that are still triggering your taste buds. Second, the bland flavor neutralizes any other flavors that may remain on your tongue. Unflavored white breads can also serve this purpose; avoid sourdoughs or breads with strong flavors.
Purchase any brand and flavor of sorbet that you enjoy. Allowing a spoonful or two to melt in your mouth will cleanse your palate and taste buds, and temporarily numb your taste buds. This method is especially good if you are suffering from a cold, because it leaves you with a fresh mouth.