Monday, December 2, 2013

Supertasters, Guinness and Birthday Toasts

The layperson's method of testing for the supertaster phenotype is to use blue food coloring to stain the tongue, then to count the raised papillae within a hole reinforcer.

I'm not going back to the dorm tonight just because. My brother doesn't have any classes until Wednesday of this week, so he's staying so that we can celebrate our birthday together. We may not have many more birthdays together. We're having pizza and whatever else my mom ourders at our house tomorrow evening. people from the dorm are invited, as well as friends from other aspects of my life. my brother has a few friends showing up from his university roughly a hundred miles away. A few family friends will be there as well.

My pseudoaunt's birthday was on Saturday. We have a short-standing tradition of celebrating one th day between our birthdays by having lunch or dinner together. She was tired of restaurant meals, so we had tacos that were made by her husband. They're weren't all that bad.

My dad was recently reading an article about super-tasters, who have more tastebuds than ordinary people and are as a result often very picky eaters. This is far from revolutionary insight, as researchers have been awae of the condition for awhile. neither is it uncommon; roughly one in four people are classified as supertasters, with more women than men being so classified. Anyway, the condition is biologically based, as supertasters have more taste buds that do ordinary people.  A quick way to screen fronthe condition is to have the person taste propylthiouracil, which is a thyroid-reducing medication.the average person doesn't have quick access to propylthiouracil, but my dad is an MD, so he has access to pretty much every medication under the sun. Propylthiouracil is known to be quite hard on the liver, but a mere taste of the drug has never sent anyone into a state of full-blown liver failure.

Without telling us what it was he was trying to accomplish, my dad put a propylthiouracil tablet on both my brother's and my tongues and told us not to swallow. I immediately said, Eeeeww!" and took it off. My brother didn't seem to think it was any big deal. My dad said my mom's reaction had been similar to mine.

So now that I'm too old for his knowledge to do me any good, my dad realizes that I'm a supertaster. It would have been nice if he'd figured it out back in the day, when he was beating me because I refused to taste much of what was on my plate at dinner or to drink the vile milkshake concoctions he mixed up for me to promote growth and weight gain. Too little, too late, C'est la vie.

My brother raided the house Guinness supply so that he and I can toast our nineteenth birthday appropriately. He's drinking two while I'm drinking a whole bottle myself, which is two times what I normally have in my twice-weekly binge nights (sanctioned by my parents as long as I don't drive for several hours because it increases my appetite). I hate the taste of Guinness almost as much as I hated my dad's growth and weight gain shakes, but beer is thinner and easier to get down even if you hate it
than is a milkshake.

Still I have to plug my nose when I drink the Guinness. My brother told me something that I already know, which is that if I go to a party and have to plug nose in orer to consume alcohol, I will look really, really stupid. That's one more reason not to go to any of the wild unversity parties frequented by my peers.

This guy is probably a supertaster.

1 comment:

  1. LOL… I tasted propylthiouracil in a public health class. It tasted like dirt to me. I had to go rinse my mouth. I don't know if that makes me a super taster, but I do know that I hate things with really strong flavors like stinky cheese.