Tags: food


Embracing bitterness (sort of)

Over at tumblr I got involved in a conversation about taste and specifically supertasters. Some folks were saying that being supertasters made it so that they were physically unable to enjoy beer. Being someone who enjoys beer, well I had to jump in:

I do love me some beer, but I put in long hours of acquiring the taste.

From an animal behavior standpoint it’s easy to acquire the taste for things like beer: each bitter sip is rewarded with sweet sweet euphoria (and physical dependence) that gets better the more you drink. My mouth waters whenever I hear the sound of a bottle being opened, or the rush of air into the opened vacuum of a cracked open can.

I acquired the taste for coffee the same way (plus some well-placed sugar-shaming by a friend at my first attempt at drinking espresso). Now I need a little creamer to keep the stuff from making caustic burns in my belly, but sweetener ruins the bitter flavor I appreciate.

Never really acquired: chocolate. It has to be sweet as fuck (hot cocoa I like, and some super sweet chocolate candy) or leavened with something salty–Reese’s peanut butter cups alone justify the existence of the cacao plant in my opinion. Must not be enough of a drug effect on me to counter the bitterness: I find most chocolate to taste like unsweetened baker’s chocolate, and chocolate cake, pudding, and ice cream are sad travesties to my taste bud. The black part of Oreo cookies taste like ash to me.

So maybe I’m a supertaster? To say cilantro tastes like soap to me is to pay it an unearned compliment. Basil and things made with it (ugh pesto) taste like acrid sewage. Too bad there’s no bitter green herb with a self-reinforcing euphoric drug in it


ANYway, Alexis jumped in to say that if I was a supertaster I wouldn't eat broccoli (I mostly eat it when its soaking in Chinese Restaurant syrup) and another friend also told me nah. That's fine, being a supertaster sounds kind of annoying, and I really like to put hot sauce on everything anyway.

3:00 snapshot #1826: Monday

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Maggie and the Moai.

I took yesterday off from work. Saturday night we didn't come back from the wedding until the wee hours, Sunday morning I did the nature walk, then Sunday night I went out and saw Unlocking the Truth and Living Colour. I was very glad I had thought to take Monday off. I slept in a bit, and got some stuff done around the house.

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Such as cooking sausages! The weather was mild, so I was outside for a long time making a fire and cooking on it. The sausages ended up in a baked pasta casserole.

Nerd Post

In honor of the fact that I'll be seeing Chris Hardwick (the nerdist) entertain Boston at the Wilbur in an hour in a half, I'll quickly share a nerdy thing that I've been momentarily obsessed with.

Alexis and I have been watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine recently (all star treks are on netflix instant btw). At the beginning of one episode they showed a child eating oatmeal. All the food on the space station is made by the replicators--machines that use transporter technology to generate food and other items from a stored bank of matter (I read up on them today). Presumably this means not only can you procure ANY food you can think of (or have the schematics or software for) but that the machine could be programmed to alter the nutritional content of the food.

If I had access to a replicator, I might say "Tea, Earl Grey; hot," once or twice, just to work on my Patrick Stewart impersonation, but most of the time I'd be saying stuff like "Masamam curry tofu, medium spicy, with pineapple chunks." Or I'd say "Crunchberries, large bowl with lactose-free milk!" Since the machine is generating the food--it never grew, it never lived, it was never killed or harvested--you could say, "veal cutlet, breaded, with dolphin sauce" guilt free. Hell you could have big bowl of baby monkey hearts, if that's your thing (those guys that are black on one side and white on the other eat baby monkey hearts, look it up).

But I would live on DS9 for a long long time before it occurred to me to say "Oatmeal, lumpy, too hot on the inside, slimy and cold on the outside." (This describes every bowl of oatmeal I've eaten.) I brought this up with some of my coworkers, and five out of six of them said the same thing to me: "I love oatmeal. What's wrong with oatmeal?"


"Spaghettios, room temperature, from the can."

Make it so.