Friday, July 13, 2007

The Cherries Have Hit!

I'm not sure what this means but it's what my mom just said. It finished with, "Gotta go, I'll call you ba.." We were on the phone because she called to tell me about these wonderful Bing Cherries she just scored. They are apparently wonderful specimens of cherry goodness. So wonderful that she bought a "lug" of them. "What are your father and I going to do with eighteen pounds of cherries?" she asked me. Well, sixteen now.

A friend from the library where she works suggested freezing them. "The horror!" you say. Frozen cherries don't thaw well! You don't want to pit and stem that many cherries! No problem. The friend says, give them a rinse, pat them dry, freeze them and eat them frozen as cherrycicles. So mom was doing the test run as she called and says they are fantastic. I know it works great with seedless grapes. Once I have a real freezer, I'll have to try it. Because I love cherries. It seems I come by it honestly.

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More on taste buds.
So here's the thing. Counting taste buds (fungiform papillae) is difficult. The food coloring stains everything and varies every time I close my mouth. I can scrunch my tongue up or widen it out flat. So I can get whatever number I want assuming I can hold still and not swallow long enough to count. Which I can't. On my third attempt, I'm now suspecting "normal taster" numbers of 25 or so taste buds. Apparently last night I was counting the non-tasting filiform papillae which are the things that make a cat's tongue rough - we have them but they're less strong.

Considering that I have a "yowza" reaction to Pale Ales (OMG how can someone consume something that painful?) yet I can watch 40 other people in a bar call that beer smooth and refreshing, I've got to be more sensitive to bitter whether or not that makes me a supertaster. I dislike the flavor of coffee so much I have no idea if it's due to bitterness. I can't even eat Tiramisu because it's ruined with coffee. I had an amazing amaretto Tiramisu once that made me think I'd found the love that other people show for the kahlua version.)

Some articles pointed out that supertasters overreact to sweet also, and can sense fat levels in foods. Does the fact that whole milk, aka 4% fat, feels like drinking wallpaper paste mean I'm a supertaster or just that I've been acclimated to 1-2% milk since I was two? In my first foray into the south I ordered the "sweet tea" they pride themselves on and could not gag down more than a sip of the sugar water with brown color in it. I can only eat a kiddie sized ice cream cone before it's too much. I don't eat fudge at all - one bite is enough to literally feel "full" of that item. I prefer light and airy cakes - dense fudgy ones are not to my taste because of the fudge thing. I've never liked cream cheese even in the form of cheesecake. (shudder!) All these things seem consistent with the supertasting, but it may be that I'm just picky. It's hard to describe relational sensation experiences - how do I know if something I feel is "normal", more than or less than what you feel? It's the only thing I know. Unless I get someone less invested in the outcome to count tastebuds for me, or try a tab of PROP, my tasting status may remain a mystery.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're so funny. My tastebuds must really be underachievers because bland food bores me - almost to tears and I'd rather not eat than eat something bland. Was really disappointed with the salmon when you and Sheri were over. It's always tricky to try something new especially with people whose food preferences you're not sure about. Live and learn, eh? Next time I'll season the hell out of it for Sheri and myself and let you season your yourself.

At least the company was stellar :)

Kara

farmwifetwo said...

I can't taste spices. Unless there's a lot of them. I dislike hot though. Flavour yes - there's no such thing as too much garlic - most of the time... but hot sauce... no thanks.

S.

PSA said...

'Once I have a real freezer' ah freezer envy I remember it well. Until recently I lived in a flat that had a tiny kitchen so my 'freezer' was the size of a shoebox. Now I occassionally wonder through to my new kitchen and just stare at the freezer (yes most people who have seen me do this think I'm slightly deranged)

L

CrankyOtter said...

K: I've been meaning to say "thanks" again for having us over for drinks and dinner. It was lovely. And the food I schmoozed off you I ate for then next 3 days, so thanks for the quinoa and edamame. Salmon's something I've only eaten as an adult because while we ate almost every type of food you can think of when I was growing up, we rarely had fish unless grandpa had some luck. But I thought it was fine, so don't beat yourself up :) I like that you tried something new that caught your eye.

FW2: good luck with the soup spices now that you've found out hubby has the "cilantro tastes like soap" gene.

PSA: I'm planning a kitchen remodel and bought a dorm fridge to use until I could decide which fridge I want (and can then afford). I *really, really* want a french door opening fridge over a lower freezer, and there's a particular freezer combo I like but I don't know if I can justify the extra cost. Until then, I have the shoebox freezer that is really only good for chilling vodka as things tend to melt in it. It's a fairly useless freezer. But I'm having fun training myself not to open 4 dozen condiments when I could get by with only 4. And the remodel is imminent so I don't want to get a new fridge that just gets damaged first thing if someone's careless. But I miss having a freezer and completely understand where you are coming from.