Am I a Supertaster? Are you?

I came across this not-so-scientific test on determining whether or not you are a supertester.

There are several indicators that made it a possibility. . .
+ Fit into the demographics for a higher instances
+ Find lots of food way too sweet (but I think its because lots of foods in the States are too sweet. For example, lots of ethnic food adapted to American tastes become much sweeter.)
+ Cannot stand the taste of saacharin. Not sure that it tastes bitter. I just remember it having a strange artificial chemical taste.
+ Love salt!
+ Don’t drink coffee (also because of the caffeine).
+ When I ate meat, I really hated meat fat.

On the flip side, I love spicy foods and have a high spice tolerance and like bitter greens/foods.

First, I tried doing the test without dying it blue, but I found it was necessary to distinguish the papillae. The test was a bit unclear on a couple points.

  1. Several different sites used different counts on when one is considered a supertaster, starting the count at 35 (versus 40), including BBC and Psychology Today.
  2. Where on the tongue to test? I noticed that the tip of my tongue has significantly more papillae. Other sites were more specific on this point and you place the paper circle “on the tip”. With that in mind, you only need to dye the tip of your tongue!

Wrong! Silly. You don't need to dye your entire tongue and the paper hole reinforcer needs to be on the tip. A blue popsicle or other blue colored food would have been more fun, but I had to use the boring method of food dye applied with a Q-tip.

Here’s what I did:

What You Need
Towel
Blue food coloring (or some blue food that makes your tongue blue)
Cotton swab (Q-tip)
Paper hole reinforcer
Digital camera

What You Do

  1. Dry your tongue. (Yuck.)
  2. Get a a little bit blue dye on a cotton swab and spread it on the tip of your tongue.
  3. Place a paper hole reinforcer on the tip of your tongue.
  4. Take a close-up picture. This is easier with a camera with a macro feature.
  5. Upload, zoom in, and count the pink dots within the circle.

What It Might Mean
<15: Tolerant taster, aka non-taster
15-35: Taster
>35: Supertaster

You can try also this survey of 5 questions which takes about 5 minutes (but is by no means accurate) on BBC.

I am on the borderline between a taster and supertaster. The more I read about it, I’m glad that I’m not necessarily a supertaster because the extreme cases can severely limit one’s enjoyment of so many foods, as much as being a non-taster, or worse.

Sources
BBC News, Tongue test identifies ‘super-tasters’
CNN.com, Love salt? Yo might be a ‘supertaster’
Chow.com, Are You a Supertaster? Take this Test

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