The Supertaster Test: Is This Picky Eater Also a Super Taster?
So, what’s a supertaster? Just like it sounds, someone considered to be a supertaster tastes much more intensely than average. The reason is usually attributed to a greater number of fungiform papillae (the bigger, mushroom-looking bumps on your tongue). All the extra taste buds on those little guys allow a supertaster to experience flavors at what’s estimated to be three times stronger than most people. It’s a term often mentioned along with picky eating, as supertasters are naturally more sensitive to bitter foods.
As an extremely picky eater, I wondered if I might be a supertaster. I mean, it sounds like a pretty cool thing to call yourself, doesn’t it? And a totally legit reason for not eating SO MANY FOODS?
Hey, so that’s why I hate everything — I’m just too damn good at tasting stuff!
It isn’t a particularly rare thing, with about 25% of the population being “supers.” One way to test yourself involves dying your tongue blue and counting the papillae within a defined area. An easier way is to order a Supertaster Test. I was fortunate enough to be sent a complimentary kit to test my tongue.
The test comes in an unassuming manila envelope. Inside is a sheet of paper with directions and information on supertasters, as well as two small plastic bags. Each bag contains two strips of paper and represents a test (you get two with each kit).
The test strips are treated with a special chemical that will taste differently depending on your genes. The instructions are remarkably simple: just take a strip, put it on your tongue, and wait a few seconds. Then see what you taste. So I did. And what did I sense?
Not. Much. Maybe a smidge of bitterness.
Damn, I’m probably just a “taster.” Possibly even a “non-taster.” Though, when I think about it, that makes total sense. I don’t try foods, dislike the taste, and never eat them again. I JUST DON’T TRY THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. Well, not many, anyway. And really, being a supertaster isn’t all that glamorous, I’m discovering…
Supertasters tend to find highly fatty and sugary foods less palatable.
Well, jeez… if I’d read that line first I probably could have skipped the test. Fat and sugar are my BFFs! The test was certainly interesting though, and affordable at just $4.95 (with a flat $3 shipping fee). I recommend it if you have suspicions of your supertasterability, or just like fun experiments. Yeah, Science!