What do you think Jenn? Do you taste the sesame seeds, or did their flavor get lost somehow amongst the other ingredients?” Lorna said as we placed our noses on the edge of the bowl, eyes at half-mast, inhaling the odor of a chewy brown rice stir-fry enriched with moist slices of beef.
Spending the last month doing recipe testing and development with Lorna Sass on her new cookbook, our noses and taste buds were working as hard as her stove and keyboard. When we began the project, she taught me how to detect the slight turpentine odor of rice that has gone rancid. “Are you a super taster, Lorna?” I asked, looking up from the burlap bag of basmati. “You know, I’m really not sure!” she said wrinkling her nose as her eyes twinkled like black opals.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “I bet I’m a super taster!!” Just because you are a great cook and adore food doesn’t necessarily make you one. Super tasters are people who have over 35 papillae, which are small, mushroom-shaped bumps that house the taste buds. Surprisingly, about 25 % of the population are super tasters- statistically women are three times more likely to be super tasters then men. So fellows, next time your lady tells you the milk is off, take her words for it!
Read more about research regarding super tasters at Yale Scientific.