Monday, July 28, 2008

I was a Teenage Supertaster!

Ever since I was little, I have always been a "picky eater". When I complained that food is overly salty, bitter, smoky or sour, people would insist that it was "just fine". The butter wasn't rancid, the meat wasn't spoiled and the milk wasn't "off". It took a blind taste-test differentiating between six different kinds of soy sauce and an ugly showdown during which I dared my own mother to eat the mold off the cheese for my family to stop questioning me.

Even as an adult, I have had an unnatural revulsion for broccoli, which is probably the only thing I had in common with George Bush, Sr. On one particularly long and arduous train trip, I had the misfortune of sitting next to a broccoli farmer. Like someone who thinks a lesbian just hasn't met the "right" man, she was convinced that if I only prepared the vegetable correctly, I would change my mind.

"Have you ever had Broccoli Florentine?"
"Have you ever tried it with cheese sauce?"
"Have you ever had broccoli with soy sauce?"
"What about cream of broccoli soup?

Finally my husband, God love him, stopped the endless interrogation by asking me, "But have you ever tried shit a la mode?"

It doesn't stop with broccoli. My wine afficianado family has never grasped my distaste for the fruit of the vine. It was especially odd because I love champagne. Up until a few years ago, my family still tried to pour me wine at dinner and bought me expensive vintages as gifts. Again, maybe I just haven't had the "right" wine. After one brother took me to a wine bar in San Francisco, I will admit that the "buttery chardonnay" did not make me grimace and run for the nearest spit bucket.

The list goes on - brussell sprouts, and even dark chocolate are unpleasantly bitter. Another freakishly picky food issue I have is with raw meat. I am frequently convinced that it has gone bad. My husband sniffs it and tries to explain to me that that is what raw meat smells like. I sniff it again and it smells rotten. He declares it perfectly normal. We go back and forth until finally it goes in the trash or he eats it himself. And to his credit, he hasn't died yet.

Finally, one day my husband watched a television special and announce that I was a "supertaster". I fit all of the criteria - coffee, dark chocolate, red wine, cruciferous vegetables, were all unpleasantly bitter to me. So I started checking it out. The final proof I needed was when Wikipedia mentioned that supertasters are also able to detect when meat is going bad faster than the average taster. I wasn't crazy after all! Well, maybe I am crazy, but at least not about that.

Over at Blogsoop they had a radical idea -- what if food bloggers were supertasters? They sent out tasting strips to food bloggers. They discovered after sending out taste strips that 80 percent of food bloggers reacted to the strips.

Miss Lindsay of LAist and I gamely stuck our taste strips in our mouths and were unimpressed. Paper. It tasted like paper. Then it was like gleaking over something sour, but in reverse, my entire mouth puckered up and I had to run into the bathroom. We both were sick for hours and could nt shake that awful taste, no matter what brand of mint we bought. Now I just have to dye my tongue blue and it's official.


although some would disagree

22 comments:

Fyreflixie said...

I feel vaguely guilty that I share none of the "supertaster" traits... although that said, I'm also not a food blogger, just a food lover ;)

Sorry to hear about your icky paper experience, it sounds really unpleasant.

jenne said...

I love ya, Kiki, but you sound like a royal pain the ass...

Kiki Maraschino said...

Hahaha Jenne, I'm sure there are those that would agree, but probably not for the same reasons.

We are all cool until someone feels like it is their responsibility to force me to eat something I know i don't like. I have never understood what investment others have in what I eat.

I just avoid those foods. If something seems spoiled, I tell my husband or family and let them decide for themselves.

But I keep my mouth shut in restaurants, and if I am a guest at someone else's table I choke down whatever is served to me with a big, grateful smile on my face.

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