supertasters and "perfect pitch" in taste

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Joined Jul 3, 2002
In another thread, you mentioned that a book on taste, smell, and flavor was a future project--I'll be the first in line to buy that! :bounce: So I wondered if you would talk a little about "supertasters." Are they just more sensitive to the usual range of tastes, or can they actually experience tastes normal tasters cannot--like hearing higher pitched sounds, etc.?
Also, are people who are able to identify all the different ingredients in a dish supertasters, or are they just (well, hardly "just" ) very talented, very experienced tasters? How are they able to use their senses to separate a spoonful of what might taste to me like a stew with chicken, tomato, probably onion and other stuff into a complex spectrum of herbs, spices and produce?
Joined Dec 4, 2005
“Supertaster” is a term that was first applied to people who are very sensitive to a standard bitter taste test. They turned out to be sensitive to other tastes as well, and to have a larger number of taste buds on the tongue. However, this is very different from what you might call expert tasters, the people who can dissect wine flavors and food flavors into their component flavors. They are especially good at discriminating odors in the nose, not tastes on the tongue; and that seems to be a matter both of genetic endowment—which and how many of the hundreds of odor receptors were they born with—and of experience and training.

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