Are You A Supertaster?

What It's Like To Be A Supertaster

It’s official. Or as official as a paper test you can buy for $5 can be.

I’m a supertaster.

I’ve always assumed I was. I have many of the traits of supertasters. I like an excessive amount of salt. I don’t like spicy foods — can hardly handle mild spice. I’m not a fan of a lot of vegetables as they taste very bitter to me, but I’ve made it my mission to figure out ways to eat them. I’m a picky eater, anyone who’s ever eaten with me knows that. I’m sensitive to sweet things. Often things taste overly sweet to me.

First, let’s define what a supertaster is:

A person who has more taste buds than normal and is very sensitive to particular tastes. English Oxford Dictionary

A supertaster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average, with some studies showing an increased sensitivity to bitter tastes.Wikipedia

Around 25% of people are supertasters, 45-50% are average tasters, and 25-30% are non-tasters.

So how do I know I’m a supertaster? I took one of those tests where you put a piece of paper in your mouth and it either tastes like almost nothing (non-taster), tastes a little bitter (average taster), or it tastes vile, awful, unbearable — supertaster! (FYI, this is not sponsored.)

This subject came up with a friend of mine recently who loves all food. She said she thought the whole supertaster thing was BS — until she did the taste test strips with several people in her family, and they all reacted completely differently. She said she tasted nothing, others tasted something slightly bitter, and her mother-in-law had to run to the bathroom to rinse her mouth out. Then she was a believer.

Before I took the test I thought, oh no, what if all these years I’ve been telling people I’m a supertaster, but then what if I’m not, and I’m just annoyingly picky?!?

Well my friends, I put that strip in my mouth and almost instantly yanked it right back out. It was hands down, own of the absolute worst things I’ve ever tasted. I literally ran to the kitchen to put anything else in my mouth to get the taste out.

Not that I want to be a supertaster — I wish I liked raw veggies. I wish I wasn’t picky. I wish I could eat spicy food. I wish I didn’t absolutely loathe cilantro. But I can’t help it. It’s my taste buds. I tried to tell my parents growing up but they weren’t buying it. I even looked into taste bud surgery — from what I found, not a thing. I figured if I liked all food, then it would be so much easier to eat healthy. I could be like those people who just snack on bell peppers, and pop a piece of raw broccoli in their mouth, and eat those gorgeous rainbow-colored salads that are nothing but veggies. But no — all of that sounds terrible to me.

I literally didn’t eat vegetables besides raw carrots until I started eating smoothies and juicing about 9 years ago, before it was a big trend. I would juice kale and spinach with some fruit to make it palatable and stick the straw way back in my mouth so it would miss my tongue, and I’d suck it down as fast as I could. My co-workers thought I was nuts.

Now I don’t do juice, only smoothies. I want to make sure to get fiber in the fruit & veggies to break down the sugar.

I still don’t like most raw veggies, but I love roasted root vegetables, all types of potatoes and yams, I eat a lot of smoothies, and custom sweetgreen salads and some other salads.  So if you have any great veggie recipes — leave me a link below!

Have you ever taken a supertaster test? What are you?

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Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash