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Bitter Leaves

11 Jun

I have a problem with bitterness. Not of the soul (well, not only) but of the food.

I have never liked truly bitter tastes. I love sour – sour is my buddy, and rhubarb is my bitch – but bitter has always eluded me. I failed to see why people were getting so enthusiastic over rocket (Swedish: ruccola) for example – to me it was just a horrible form of salad, which gave a horrendous chemical after-taste. Or Brussels sprouts. Or grapefruit – grapefruit always made me queasy.

And then I discovered that it was not just me – it was my genes. I wish that all of life’s problems can be blamed on lack of genes, but this one can apparently. In this case, the lack of a bitter taste receptor gene.

Apparently 25% of people are unable to taste a chemical called propylthiouracil, which causes the rancid bitterness in bitter foods. These people like bitter things while other people like me- the majority, I may add – can’t stand them.

So it’s not that we have a less developed palate, it’s simply that the rest of you are fucking mutants. So suck on that, grapefruit boy.

/ paddy

 
9 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2008 in Obscura, Science

 

9 responses to “Bitter Leaves

  1. Chris

    June 12, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Paddy, are you a supertaster?

    Even as a grown-up, I can’t stand onion. I dunno what “taste” that falls under.

     
  2. Glen Gordon

    June 12, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    I thought grapefruit was “sour”. What the hell’s the difference between bitter and sour?? I still haven’t figured that one out. I’m not sure if I lack the gene or I’m just retarded! :-)

     
  3. paddyK

    June 13, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Chris: “Onion” is a ground fruit. Tastes like chicken and onion.

    Glen Gordon: Sour is face-scrunchy. Bitter is tongue-curly.

     
  4. Tor

    June 13, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Grapefruit is sweet, sour, bitter, and highly enjoyable to all but the retarded.

     
  5. Stefan K

    June 13, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    What about Guinness, then?

     
  6. ullis

    June 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    So it’s not that we have a less developed palate, it’s simply that the rest of you are fucking mutants. So suck on that, grapefruit boy.

    Haha, you’re awesome.

     
  7. Glen Gordon

    June 16, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Paddy: “Sour is face-scrunchy. Bitter is tongue-curly.”

    Damn, that’s my problem. My tongue doesn’t curl. My tongue is just a fat lump that sits in my mouth and does nothing. I envy all you “tongue acrobats”.

     
  8. Glen Gordon

    June 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Paddy: “Sour is face-scrunchy. Bitter is tongue-curly.”

    Damn, that’s my problem. My tongue doesn’t curl. My tongue is just a fat lump that sits in my mouth and does nothing. I envy all you “tongue acrobats”.

     
  9. ullis

    June 21, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    That last comment in the post still makes me laugh.

     

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