Being a supertaster is no piece of cake
By Diane Mapes
Being a “supertaster” may sound like a foodie’s dream come true, but in reality, it’s no picnic.
Coffee and alcohol are unpalatable – along with tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, strawberries, condiments and most sweets.
“I can’t stand cake,” says Michelle Triplett, a 31-year-old stay-at-home mom and supertaster from Olympia, Wash., who spoke, coincidentally, on her birthday. “It’s too sweet for me. And when I drink beer, I gag. It’s like drinking urine.”
Supertasters detect components – like salt or bitterness -- in food that others can’t, says Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
“[Supertasters] have densities of taste buds that are 10 to 100 times greater than the normal population,” he says. “As a result, supertasters are much more sensitive to spicy foods and they can taste … very mild flavors.”