So, a few posts back, I discussed supertasters. Basically, they have genes that allow their tastebuds to pick up on more flavor. They make up about 25% of the U.S. population. But another 25% of the population is made up of non-tasters who taste far less flavor than most people. The other 50% are just tasters.
So, I ordered some tests off the internet. They’re these small paper strips coated in a chemical known as PTC. You place them on your tongue, and if you taste an extremely bitter disgusting taste, you’re a supertaster. If it just tastes kind of bitter, you’re a taster, and if you don’t taste anything, you’re a non-taster. I received five strips.
Test Subject #1: Phillip Repsher
Likes: Pizza pockets, Hot Dogs with Cholula, Whiskey, Jolly ranchers, and Other Garbage.
Dislikes: Vegetables, Spicy Foods, Coffee, and Generally Healthy Foods.
Hypothesis: We all guessed Phil would be a non-taster because he eats such shitty food.
Data: He put the strip in his mouth and tasted and immediate and overwhelming taste of bitterness. He then took it out in disgust, and said it tasted awful.
Unbelievably, Phil is a supertaster!
Test Subject #2: Adrienne Teeley
Likes: Cookies, Kale Muffins, Macaroni and Cheese, and Shredded Wheat.
Dislikes: Tomatoes, The Type of Cream Cheese that Comes Out of a Small Tub, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches, and Rum. She is generally a picky eater.
Hypothesis: Since Adrienne is such a picky eater, we assumed she’d also be a supertaster.
Data: She put the strip on her tongue, let it sit for a second, and then confirmed a somewhat bitter taste.
Adrienne is just a regular taster.
Test Subject #3: Tyler Sanders
Likes: Milk, Bagels and Cream Cheese, Pizza, Jambalaya, Guacamole, and Lone Star.
Dislikes: All seafood, Olives, and Mushrooms. I don’t think I’m a very picky eater. The seafood thing can be blamed on my three days of throwing up after eating fish in Cambodia.
Hypothesis: I guessed I was a non-taster because I just feel like I can’t taste things that well.
Data: I put the strip on my tongue, let it sit, let it sit some more, but I didn’t taste anything. It felt like I just put paper in my mouth. I took it out, and a few seconds later I got a very very faint hint of bitterness.
My hypothesis is correct, I’m a non-taster.
Some folks are supertasters, some are tasters, and some are non-tasters. We have all three in a single household. Many sites and articles about supertasters and non-tasters explain what they like and dislike, but we didn’t find these to be consistent with what we like and dislike to eat. I guess it’s really just a matter of taste.