Recent studies suggest a chemical perception of dietary fat in the oral cavity. To examine the role of gustation for the recognition of oleate and triolein, very short-term (5-min), two-bottle preference tests were conducted in anosmic rats. To minimize the effects of olfaction, texture and postingestive effects, rats were rendered anosmic with intranasal zinc sulfate, test substances were suspended in 0.3% xanthan gum solution and test fluids were offered for 5 min. Rats preferred oleate fluid but not triolein fluid to the control of 0.3% xanthan gum solution. The preference threshold for oleate in the rat oral cavity was between 0.2% and 0.5%. In the two-bottle preference tests between oleate and triolein, rats preferred oleate fluid to triolein fluid, showing discrimination of oleate and triolein. The results suggest that rat recognizes oleate by a gustatory cue and that fatty acid but not triglyceride is important for gustatory recognition of fat.