I thought it would be pretty fantastic to have the title, SuperTaster. It would be a great thing to brag about, and ultimately make me feel like an endorsed chef. There really is such a thing as a supertaster—it’s genetic.
I am taking “Cooking for Restricted Diets,” and have been learning all sorts of fascinating tidbits. Approximately 25% of the population has the recessive gene of a supertaster. Supertasters have heightened taste—particularly for bitter flavors.
Our instructor, Chef Haas, announced that we would be tested to see if we were a supertaster in class as she passed around a small handful of filter paper strips. As the strips circled the group, I leaned over to my friend, Heather, and said, “Man, I hope I am a supertaster.” She said, “As a chef, you actually do not want to be a supertaster—you will season food improperly.” I took what she said into consideration, but still secretly wanted the title. And then, as though it was communion at a protestant church, the class waited with the paper strips in hand, and indulged together. “Here goes nothing,” I said, as I tossed the strip towards the back of my mouth (since that is where you sense bitter). I tasted soggy paper. Heather nearly choked—the bitter was unbearable. I guess neither of us got what we wanted. Supertaster or not, Heather knows how to cook. And I should have known better—I am obsessed with brussels sprouts.
Best Brussels Spouts for non-supertasters
3 cups Brussels sprouts – trimmed
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
fresh lemon juice to taste
s and p
Heat a small pot of water. Once boiling, add the brussels sprouts and cook for (approx.) 7 minutes or until tender. Strain and let cool (slightly). Cut the brussels sprouts in half. In a bowl combine the sprouts, butter, olive oil, cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. The butter and cheese should melt from the heat of the sprouts.