The Supertaster Test: Is This Picky Eater Also a Super Taster?

tongue-outSo, 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.

supertaster-test

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).

supertaster-test-directions

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!

Heather

The little leading lady at The Plain Cheese. Read the About for more. My fav snacks are Doritos, Red Vines, Reese's, Sour Patch Kids, M&Ms, Jelly Beans, Popcorn, Oreos, Gummy Bears...

1 Response

  1. This is an excellent blog. I do not need to take the test, I know I am a supertasting mutant with selective eating disorder 😉 I applaud you for talking about this. You go girl.

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