brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are often first sign for super-tasters

If you don’t like one or more of the following foods

  • brussels sprouts
  • kale
  • green tea
  • grapefruit juice

then there’s nothing really wrong with you. Instead, you’re most probably a super-taster. A super-taster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than normal- or non-tasters. 



I, for example, can’t eat brussels sprouts. I have tried many times over the years, but for me brussels sprouts are immensely bitter. As a teenager, I was watching a TV show and on the show there were five guests sitting around a table. Each one of them got a glass of “water”. In the “water” was some Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), which is a very unusual property. PTC is either tasteless or very bitter, depending on the person tasting it. PTC is a property which you find in, amongst other foods,  brussels sprouts. So here we go. the guests on the TV show got the “water” and everyone of the guests simultaneously took a sip of this “water”. I remember lying on the floor laughing, because one of the guests spat the “water” all over the table and jumped up out of his seat. This man was able to taste the PTC. This was a mean test. After all, the poor man didn’t expect to experience this bitterness. The other four guests were gobsmacked, shocked of being spat at. They did not taste the PTC content.
The TV presenter wanted to prove at the time, that most probably, there was a super-taster amongst those five individuals and he was right. Super-tasters are all around tongue

My mother used to think that I was a picky eater. She believed that I just didn’t want to eat my sprouts and that I made this bitterness up. How wrong she was. In our house, I had to stay put at the dinner table, until I had eaten everything on my plate. The second nobody was looking, my brussels sprouts were gone. they generally disappeared behind the radiators.

Self test

It is possible to do a quite an accurate self-diagnosis at home, by carefully examining your tongue, looking for the number of fungiform papillae. Blue food dye will make the task a little bit easier.