I've had a cold for a couple of weeks and even though things are clearing up I can't yet smell or taste anything. Because I'm kinda a nerd, I decided to look up why that is exactly. And since I'm kinda a nerd, I thought I'd share what I found.
According to answers.com:
Even though your mouth has thousands of taste buds (most of them located on your tongue), the way food smells greatly affects your sense of taste. Your tongue can only sense four flavors: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter; it is the different smells of foods that allow you to experience a wide variety of tastes. When you have a head cold, the lining of your nose is swollen and produces extra, thick mucus. This mucus keeps the scent particles of food from getting to your olfactory center, located on top of your nasal cavity. These scent particles cannot reach the thick batch of hairs there that send smell impulses to your brain.
And there you have it. Scent particles and my olfactory center aren't being allowed to play together thanks to that big ol' thug mucus. I have to say...it's been rather annoying because garden produce is starting to be more abundant. And while I'm still eating it because in my head I know it tastes good, as much as my taste ability is concerned right now it doesn't taste any different than school paste. (Not that I've tested that theory mind you.)
Just imagine the joy my senses will experience when they can actually enjoy the fresh basil and tomato salads and zucchini cooked with loads of garlic. What a happy day that will be! Soon. Hopefully soon.