Understanding Your Taste Buds (Rebroadcast)

Understanding Your Taste Buds (Rebroadcast)

Do you like salty or sweet? The answer is in your genes. We explore the science -- physical and culinary -- behind our sense of taste and why each of us prefers different flavors.

Do you know any picky eaters who can't stand certain foods? Genetics help shape our sense of taste and explain why we prefer bitter or sweet, like why we like coffee black or with sugar. We look at the range of individual tastes and how chefs and sommeliers account for them in perfecting a meal.

Guests

Steven Munger

Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Patrice Olivon

Program Director of Culinary Arts at L'Academie de Cuisine

Jay Youmans

Master of Wine, Educational Director and owner of the Capital Wine School, and owner of Rock Creek Wine Merchants.

Related Links

WAMU 88.5 Staff Take The Supertaster Test

Kojo Nnamdi Show listeners and WAMU 88.5 staff put their taste buds to the test to find out who's a supertaster and who's an average taster. Scroll down for a special video revealing whether Kojo is a supertaster.

One in four people is a supertaster, someone who's genetically predisposed to experience salty, sweet, bitter and sour flavors more intensely than the average person.

The test works by placing a strip of P.T.C. paper on your tongue. The ingredient in the paper, Phenylthiourea-Phenylthiocarbamide, is extremely bitter to a supertaster, who senses the bitterness within a micro-second, whereas an average or non-taster detects little to no bitterness.

Kojo Nnamdi Takes The Supertaster Test

Host Kojo Nnamdi discovers whether or not he has extra sensitive taste receptors.

This is a rebroadcast. Please view the original broadcast to comment.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.