For years we’ve all seen movies about super heroes with extraordinary powers—they can fly, turn invisible, see through walls, you-name-it. And we’ve all wished we could have superhuman strength or some unusual ability from time to time.
Well, a few years ago, after watching a movie about a high school for the kids of such comic book characters, my son dashed into the kitchen (where I am frequently located) and said, “Mom, you’re a super!”
I am still waiting, mind you, for the phrase, “Mom, you’re super!” without the “a” in there, but I’ll take what I can get.
He was referring to my tasting abilities. Yes, folks, I am a super taster. Granted, this ability does not come with a movie contract, comic book rights, or ANY MONEY WHATSOEVER, nor has it yet benefited the world at large, but at least I have one talent my children have noticed.
(It’s not even very rare—about a third of all women are supertasters, and about 15 per cent of all men have this same condition.)
What it means, if you’re a supertaster, is that you have more taste buds than average—a lot more. Thus you taste things more strongly, especially bitterness in foods. I’ve also found I cannot abide carbonation, which feels prickly on my tongue, and I’m extremely sensitive to heat, sitting there waiting for my soup to cool while everyone else is gobbling it up. Ultra spicy foods bring me to my knees, and sour candies are out of the question. Even most fresh fruit makes me pucker up as if I’ve bitten into a lemon. I’ve never been able to eat a peach in my life (though I love peach pie). Basically this “superpower” has turned me into a big baby.
There are a few advantages, however. I can taste something and tell you almost exactly what’s in it. You want to know what that strange hint of a spice is? I can probably tell you. And long before the rest of the family would notice, I can tell the milk is beginning to sour. I’m also able to enjoy the nuances of subtle foods and sauces that others miss, causing them to reach for the salt shaker to add flavoring (something I also almost never do). It’s as if I have microscopic vision, except that it’s in my tongue.
If you suspect that you are also a superhero like me, click here to find out if you qualify for this elite club. And then write and tell me if you figure out how we can take over the world.
Even if you’re not a supertaster, you can have the good taste to order my books here.