Are You a Supertaster?

For serious foodies, there’s nothing more embarrassing than being exposed as having a poor palate. Recently, I had a quite horrifying experience at Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn. Everyone in the borough has raved about their “salted crack caramel,” a deep, savory ice cream rich with the intense notes of burnt sugar. But when I finally tried Ample Hill’s caramel, I absolutely, 100% hated it. At first I thought there was something wrong with my spoon; that’s how much I disliked the strong, bitter taste of it. Even as three friends next to me all practically had a collective oral orgasm while shoving the ice cream into their faces, I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth quickly enough. I went home and literally washed my mouth out. Not kidding.

What had happened? Is my palate too weak to support the taste of this cracked-out ice cream? Or…am I just a SUPERTASTER? Many of you have likely already heard about this concept. If not, here’s a brief intro from

Supertasters experience taste with far greater intensity than the average person. About 25 percent of Americans are supertasters, a group with an unusually high number of taste buds. If you love food more than most, you may have inherited supertaster genes.

Evidence suggests that supertasters are more sensitive to bitter tastes and fattiness in food, and often show lower acceptance of foods that are high in these taste qualities. Supertasters tend to dislike strong, bitter foods like raw broccoli, grapefruit juice, coffee and dark chocolate.

A-ha! So maybe it wasn’t a palate failure, but just an instance of my true taste bud elitism coming out. Clearly, the ES team needed to investigate this further. Armed with a packet of tests from, we got to work.

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