I read an article a few years ago about “supertasters” and felt inspired to share this idea with you, especially since this blog is all about food! What is a “supertaster,” exactly? Some individuals seem to have increased sensitivity to taste. This might explain why some people enjoy some foods more than others – some of us might be tasting them more intensely. So if Brussels sprouts have a slightly bitter taste, a supertaster might experience it as super bitter.
This can actually be tested with a tasting strip! It contains a chemical called “propylthiouracil” (thanks, Wikipedia!). If you put it on your tongue and find it extremely bitter, then you’re a supertaster! Believe it or, Amazon.com sells these test strips for a low, low price! BUT, if you want to be more adventurous, I also found a home test that you can do using blue food dye and a hole punch reinforcer…. follow this link!
(photo credit: sciencebuddy.org)
So let’s talk about some statistics!
- According to research, about 25% of people are supertasters, 50% are “medium” tastes, and 25% are non-tasters.
- Women and individuals from Asia, Africa, and South America have higher percentages of supertasters
- And finally, supertasters may be more sensitive to these foods: alcoholic beverages Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, coffee, grapefruit juice, green tea, soy products and carbonation in some beverages
I did the strip test a few years ago and it tastes horrid! That explained why I’m not a fan of coffee, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, and most alcoholic beverages. On the plus side, I find it easier to discern different ingredients in the foods I eat at restaurants and can attempt to replicate them at home, if I enjoy them!
And since I like giving credit where credit is due, I got most of my information here from Wikipedia, theguardian.com, and the inner depths of my memory.
So next time you are called a “picky eater,” know that you are, in fact, a supertaster!