Tart vs Sour

Reads 4865 • Replies 6 • Started Tuesday, August 09, 2005 2:23:57 AM CT

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mullet
beers 849 º places 230 º 02:23 Tue 8/9/2005

Can anyone tell me the difference between tart and sour? Iíve always assumed the two were synonyms, and dictionary.com tells me the same.
In my own ratings Iíve always varied between the two based on intensity, ie. mild sourness is described as "tart". However, Iíve read heaps of ratings where people make a differentiation between the two.
Iím not saying anyoneís right or wrong, but I was just wondering how everyone considers the two different.

 
5000
beers 6599 º 02:30 Tue 8/9/2005

I have always thought Tart as being mildly sour but fading very quickly. Sour lingers for a long time and its stronger than Tart, hence the usual lingering aspects. Thats my take at least.

LP

 
JorisPPattyn
beers 9469 º places 59 º 03:37 Tue 8/9/2005

Originally posted by mullet
Can anyone tell me the difference between tart and sour? Iíve always assumed the two were synonyms, and dictionary.com tells me the same.
In my own ratings Iíve always varied between the two based on intensity, ie. mild sourness is described as "tart". However, Iíve read heaps of ratings where people make a differentiation between the two.
Iím not saying anyoneís right or wrong, but I was just wondering how everyone considers the two different.

To me, "sour" is just a basic taste. "Tart" is a combination of taste (sour essentially, but often twinned with a little bitter) and a mouthfeel: always dry, near adstringent, with a drying-out effect on the mucoses and (underfront) teeth especially.
A very good example IMO is the difference between a real acid, as lactic or citric acid - sour on the one hand, and on the other, the effect tannines have in your mouth, they are acids as well, but less pukingly, more dry.
On top of that, but thatís totally personal, I regard "sour" as the translation of the Dutch word "zuur", and "tart" of the word "wrang", which have the same connotation as I explained above.
Hope that helps, Joriswhodoesntthinkhiswordisevangeliumforthat

 
maltdog
beers 621 º places 82 º 08:48 Tue 8/9/2005

Interesting question. I suspect it depends as much on the type of acid being tasted as with the person tasting it. For me, cider is tart; vinegar is sour; lime juice is somewhere in between.

Does anyone know what different (lactic, tartaric, citric, etc) acids taste like? It could be useful to know. Or not.

 
Oakes
admin
beers 15616 º places 805 º 08:54 Tue 8/9/2005

Originally posted by Larry Pitonka
I have always thought Tart as being mildly sour but fading very quickly. Sour lingers for a long time and its stronger than Tart, hence the usual lingering aspects. Thats my take at least.

LP


Thatís how I see it, too.

 
BuckNaked
beers 1230 º places 28 º 09:09 Tue 8/9/2005

Also, to me tart describes something more acidic than sour and as others have mentioned is shorter lasting. Sour is more of a blanket descriptor. At least thatís my take.

 
ClarkVV
beers 5781 º places 103 º 09:12 Tue 8/9/2005

Lactobacillius to me is sour, as is malic acid (pediococcus biproduct) (butchering the spelling, sorry).

Acetic acid is sour/bitter to me as is citric acid.

Brettanomyces are quite tart and not terribly sour in my mind.

Maybe try this. Open an Orval first and take in that sensation, then open a Cantillon Gueuze. I think you will find the difference.