Are there any foods or drinks that actually have zero flavor? Things that aren’t just bland, but objectively flavorless? The purest water is certainly a candidate, jaykayen noted in a recent Chowhound discussion. Unlike tap and bottled waters, extremely pure spring water is free of chemicals that your nose or tongue can detect, something coll experienced once, drinking water straight from a stream in Wyoming. “It was just wet, otherwise nothing,” coll says. “Glad I had the experience of true nothingness once in my life. It does exist.”

Texture foods like shark fin and sea cucumber are composed almost entirely of cartilage or gelatin, and those come closest to the ideal of flavorlessness, cresyd observes. Veggo agrees. “Shark fin is tasteless cartilage, shrouded in myth.”

But when it comes right down to it, saliva might be the baseline medium that could be considered genuinely flavorless, Crockett67 speculates. On the flip side, any deviation from the taste of your own saliva could be construed as flavor.

Discuss: Is there really anything that is truly “flavorless”?

Photo by Flickr member Mike Burns under Creative Commons

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