And Thus the Mystery of the Hatred Towards Bitterness is Solved
[Italian entries shall continue soon! But until then, here is a random announcement.]
Do Not Want
I took a supertaster test today, courtesy of Doug, who mailed some kits to the Serious Eats office to test the supertaster-ness of food bloggers. All you do is chew on a special strip. If it has no taste, you're a non-taster. If it's mildly bitter, you are a regular taster. If it's very bitter, you're a supertaster.
I placed the tiny strip on my tongue. Waited. Chewed. And then the horror set in. Oh my god. Tasted like. Horror. HORROR. The bitterness of the strip lingered like the smell of a dead rat stuck in the roof of a long abandoned building covered with moss and mildew and death. And rats.
Okay maybe not that bad. But I had to chase it with a spoonful of ice cream.
[licks inside of mouth]
SO THERE! Morten, Kåre and whoever else wonder about my malfunctioning coffee and alcohol tastebuds—there's my explanation.
Although I am now officially a supertaster (which is not a very special title, as it applies to about 35% of American women), all this means to me is that bitter things taste more horribly than they should. It doesn't mean I can discern flavors any better than other people, as apparent through my inability to describe the taste of whatever I'm eating with vocabulary that extends beyond the eloquence of "AWESOME!" I failed.
MID-DAY UPDATE!Ed just called someone at Jeffrey Steingarten headquarters to see if we could get HIM to take the taste test (he lives near our office, apparently). He wasn't available at the moment, but we've been told that he thinks the whole taste/supertaste thing is bunk and that supertasters are actually taste impaired.
Now that does make sense in my situation. I SHALL NEVER ENJOY WINE, EVER.
Indeed, Ed and I took a trip to Steingarten Central and I took a video of him talking about the meaninglessness of supertasting. Or normal tasting. I don't remember exactly what he said; Adam will post that online later.