In today's comments, we took a much closer look at our world maps, contemplated the return of the sabrecat, and learned a simple way to test yourself for the most ordinary of superpowers: hypertasting.
Food inventor Barb Stuckey joined us today for a Q&A on the science of food development, and (in response to commenter Greenjello's confession that the taste of coffee was a hard one to swallow) revealed an easy way to test for your own burgeoning mutant powers:
Coffee is made up of a complex system of Basic Tastes (bitter, sour) and aromas (nutty, roasty, earthy, winey, chocolately, etc). It's a great litmus test for your taster type. If it tastes unpleasantly bitter to you, it's likely you're a Hypertaster (aka supertaster). You have a specific set of genetics and anatomy that makes bitter more intense to you than the average person. Anyone who drinks coffee black (and enjoys it!) is likely what I call a "Tolerant" taster. That means their genetics and anatomy make them tolerant of very bitter tastes.
Adding sugar does help to balance out the bitter and sour tastes in coffee. This works by adding a counterpoint that "masks" the bitterness. Adding dairy (milk, cream) actually raises the pH, making the coffee less sour.
Grab a cup of coffee, commenters, and then tell us your results below.
Image: Zadorozhnyi Viktor / Shutterstock