I’ve discovered that I am a super-taster.
You may ask, what is a super-taster? Technically speaking, it’s a person born with more specialized taste buds on the tip of their tongue than the average person.
You know that you’re a super-taster when you can’t stand black coffee, broccoli, spinach, green tea, beer, scotch, cauliflower, or soy products. Women are more likely to be super-tasters than men. And, interestingly, many chefs are super-tasters. If you discover that you are indeed a super-taster, you may feel you’re at a disadvantage, since you will do your best to avoid healthful (but distasteful) nutrients. However, the plus side is that some super-tasters find sweet food too sweet and avoid very fatty food.
Now you may ask, how is it that a super-taster like me really likes spinach? The simple answer is that I only discovered my liking for spinach as an adult and by accident (I tasted a dish not knowing it contained spinach).
After that first encounter, I’ve experimented a bit, and I’ve learned that there are a few ways to trick your taste buds and take the bitter edge off vegetables. You can try salt or a salty condiment like soy sauce, which can take away the bitter taste. But I find that the most effective way to transform these foods is by steaming or coking them. Then add some fat — oil or cream (as in the recipe below) — and you’ll remove the bitter taste completely.
Leah Schapira is the co-founder of CookKosher.com, a rapidly growing online kosher recipe exchange. A finicky eater as a child, her cooking education began in her mother’s kitchen at age eight. At 21, she spearheaded a community cookbook fundraiser, with sales of over 12,000 copies. A self-taught cook and seasoned international traveler, she has been the food editor for two popular Jewish weekly magazines. Leah shares her love of cooking through articles, through her website, through cooking demos and classes, and now through her latest creation — Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking. She resides in New Jersey with her husband and children.
This article and its accompanying recipes were featured in Mishpacha Magazine‘s Family First Issue #144.