Well, if you're correct your experts are unique. As I posted above, I work with people who are highly trained at interpreting x-ray films but who wouldn't trust themselves to make objective comparisons between two types of film. (And the human visual system is vastly more sophisticated than the taste system.) Absolutely. But the fact that identification of tastes relies on memory is a reason to distrust it since memories are highly fallible. Secondly, the ability to store taste memories evolved to help make decisions like "is this thing good to eat or will it kill me?" However, the brain will have evolved to use all the data available: taste, smell, shape, colour, where it's growing, etc. I can see no evolutionary reason why an ability to analyze taste independently of other cues should have arisen. Taste memory can operate without visual clues but it will only do so if there are no visual cues. This is borne out by the study cited by lizziee where wine experts were fooled into describing a white wine as tannic by the addition of red dye.