I've found myself explaining it so much recently, I thought I might throw a quick post up about supertasterism*. Basically, as I understand it, it is the ability to taste certain substances that others can't, specifically some particular chemical. The chemical is very bitter to those who can taste it, therefore foods that contain this chemical are generally disliked by supertasters. Before I heard about this phenomenon, I, and often people I ate with, just figured that I was picky. After hearing about it, though, I found that many of the foods I dislike are disliked by other supertasters. While I guess it doesn't completely save me from coming across as a picky eater, it does make me feel at least somewhat validated.

Coffee, grapefruit juice, and many dark green leafy vegetables have a bitter taste to me that other people don't seem to share. Wikipedia has a list of food associated with this chemical, and a very scientific exaplanation, here. Noticeably missing from their list is broccoli which I always heard was the main culprit. (And I was really looking for an excuse to avoid my broccoli too.)

Curious as to whether you are a supertaster? Try this experiment or, for the lazier among us, this quiz.
Sunday August 26 2007File under: food, misc

Toggle Comments (13)comment?
on Sun 26th Aug, 2007 10:23 pm PDT MOM said:
Wasn't it Bush the Elder who dissed Broccoli and took it in the shorts for it? Perhaps he was a supertaster too. I don't like that stupid quiz--obviously they never ate at Adrift.
on Sun 26th Aug, 2007 11:44 pm PDT Horge said:
Did you take the test? You should post pictures of it. Or everyone should send you pictures. Then you can add it to your Match Game. Match the tongue to the BdW commentator. :)
on Mon 27th Aug, 2007 01:53 pm PDT Jim said:
I'll second your mom's comment--that is one stupid quiz. I can't see how they can arrive at any conclusions from questions like whether you 'tuck into your food right away' or whether you continue to converse with your dinner partners. If you're basing your supertasterism on that quiz, I suggest a second opinion.
on Mon 27th Aug, 2007 05:12 pm PDT I said:
the quiz rated me as a supertaster so i don't think it's stupid. it made me feel special.i wonder if beer would also make the supertaster list? i have never, ever taken a liking to beer, even when it's free, and i've wondered why everyone else can 'acquire' that taste but me.
on Mon 27th Aug, 2007 08:25 pm PDT Saxtor said:
The quiz informed me that I am either a "supertaster" or a "non-taster." Way to narrow it down...
on Mon 27th Aug, 2007 08:50 pm PDT Wren said:
Admittedly, the quiz isn't perfect. The best way I know how to judge your supertasterism is to compare your likes and dislikes to the list over at wikipedia. No need to get sore at me just because you aren't among the few, the proud, the supertasters.

(Oh, and "I" (who, by the wonders of sneaky internet tracking, I've found to the same person as "me" from the previous post) is not me in case there was some mix up, and is also not "me" as previously established here at BdW. You're going to have to get a little more creative, sensei)
on Tue 28th Aug, 2007 06:49 pm PDT Jule said:
Is that chemical you taste called "vegetables"?
on Wed 29th Aug, 2007 09:44 am PDT Sean said:
I couldn't find banana runts on the list. I guess I'm not a supertaster.
on Wed 29th Aug, 2007 11:56 am PDT gretchen said:
uh, i'm pretty sure banana runts are the best flavor. ah, runts how i haven't thought of you for many a year. do they even still exist?
on Wed 29th Aug, 2007 04:10 pm PDT Joe said:
i whole heartedly agree with gretchen. best runt flavor ever is banana by far. and yes they're still goin strong, as far as i know. i haven't had them in some years as well. and i'm too lazy to take even the lazy quiz. i know i'm picky so i don't really need the euphemism of "supertaster" instead.
on Wed 29th Aug, 2007 07:36 pm PDT Jule said:
Banana runts? Are you crazy? the only thing that should take like bananas are bananas and possibly some kind of pudding.
on Wed 29th Aug, 2007 07:47 pm PDT Wren said:
Food Pavilion carries chewy runts in their candy aisle (I didn't check bulk because, since the redesign, it is hard to find anything). On this fact-finding mission, the rumors of new flavors were also confirmed. Pineapple and mango are now included. (I heard that two flavor were taken out to make way, but I don't remember which. All I know is that banana is still around.)
on Thu 30th Aug, 2007 04:43 am PDT Andrew said:
this shit is bananas. ...but seriously. Jule is right. the fruit and the bread are the only objects in this world that should have any semblance to the yellow. All else is no bueno.

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