Written by Travis Roy. Reprinted with permission.
So, I have a few new people that read this and it came up the other day very briefly so I thought I would talk about it. I think I’ve posted about this before but I wanted to do a longer one.
I am a Supertaster. After checking out the wikipedia article to learn what it is, come back for the rest…
So I got home today and was cleaning my fryer (since french fries are my main staple) and that got me to thinking I should post about my odd eating habits and try to get at least a semi-complete list of what I eat and basically my life in general as it regards to having this.
First lets start with the basics of taste. As you already read from the wikipedia page, I have more taste buds than a normal person. So we have sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.
Sweet – I can deal with sweet as in sugar. I like most classic candy like twizzlers and gummy bears (but to much makes my TMJ act up, but that’s another story). The cherry, strawberry, grape, lemon, and lime flavors are usually out however. My coffee I have to have “extra, extra” (that’s 8 sugars and 8 cremes in a medium coffee for those that don’t usually order in that manner). But a bit more on this when we get to bitter.
Salty – Salt I can deal with, I love salt. When we get to the list of items you’ll see that a lot of them are just transports for salt and/or butter. 🙂
Sour – I can deal with slight amounts of this. I eat Sour Patch Kids, but I do so slowly and they are as far as I can go.
Bitter – This I think is where most of my hypersensitivity comes in. I have no concept of “savory”, anything people consider savory I think is bitter. It’s why I have to add so much to my coffee, and why I can’t drink wine as it also tastes bitter. Same with meat.
I also have a texture thing. I can’t eat pasta, it feels way to slimy and gross.
Now on to the list. I’ll break it up into breakfast, lunch/dinner, snacks, and other.
- bread products, either white or wheat, but white preferred. This includes waffles, pancakes, toast, English muffins, etc. But 99.9% of the time, it’s white toast with butter. I haven’t had pancakes or waffles in many, MANY years, but they get maple syrup.
- Dry cereal, nothing to crazy.. Cherrios, rice cripspies, honey nut cherrios, honey combs.. things along those lines.
- Drinks would be juice (orange 99.9% of the time, I will drink apple juice in a pinch), or coffee milk.
- French Fries, like I said earlier, my main staple. Normal french fries (crinkle or straight cut), not seasoned fries, not ones with skins on them (but I will eat those in a pinch), or curly fries (because they’re almost always seasoned). I know way more about french fries and where to get good ones then probably anybody else on the planet, if you want to know feel free to ask in the comments. I eat them with salt, no ketchup.
- Corn on the cob, yes, on the cob, not loose, it’s gross that way (see texture item, there’s something different about it). Lots of butter and salt. mmmmm. I found a new kind at a farmers market in Milford (Lull Farm) last year and I think it’s spoiled me to all other kinds of corn.
- Bread products again, I can deal with dinner rolls when I’m somewhere that has nothing else.
- Bagged products. This includes Chips (normal salted chips), Doritos, Fritos, Pretzels, Corn Chips (plain). No dips. Oh, cheezy puffs too.
- Canned products such as potato sticks, peanuts (only peanuts, not mixed nuts. Cocktail or honey roasted only. Dry roasted just doesn’t do it for me anymore).
- Other snacks? Popcorn mostly.
- Popsicles (again, basic flavors, nothing crazy like tropical fruit).
- Ice cream (Coffee mostly). Cake (chocolate).
I’m sure there’s other stuff I eat but that’s most of it. Yes, that’s it, that short list. If anybody has seen me eat other stuff please feel free to add.
I don’t eat meat because it doesn’t taste good, it has nothing to do with any kind of moral thing. I own a leather jacket.
Now……… I know what you’re wondering:
1. How am I alive?
🙂 – Truth is, I’m not to sure myself, but my doctor says I’m fine and my tests come back okay. He knows about my eating and he really doesn’t have a problem with it. When I was younger I took iron pills but I don’t any more and my blood level for iron is fine.
2. What did/do my parents think of this?
They told me when I was really little (before I can remember) I used to eat all kinds of stuff. I have no memory of this. I’ve always been like this as far as I’m concerned. My parents said that as long as the doctor says I’m okay, then they don’t have a problem with it. I know it bugs my dad, but my mom really doesn’t seem to care.
3. What about your wife?
I know it bugged her at first, but I think she’s over it.
4. What about going out to places?
I make this very clear. This is -MY- problem, it’s my burden. I will deal with it. If there’s nothing for me wherever I’m going I will get something to eat before or after.
5. What do other people think?
I get questions about it. It used to bother me, but now it doesn’t. It’s weird, I’m weird. You get questions. Just don’t push the issue about how to fix me and there isn’t a problem.
6. Well have you tried?
Way back, probably, recently, probably not. There are things not on the list that I have eaten and didn’t dislike, but it’s not something I eat even rarely. Apples are a good example. But, based on the smell, and experience, I generally can tell if I’ll like it or not. I have such a small range of things I can usually tell if things are within that range. I’m more likely to try something to drink than eat because its -MUCH- easier to get the taste out of my mouth.
• Travis Roy, 2007 •
Mealtime Hostage invites adult picky eaters and parents of children with feeding challenges to share their story in future guest posts. Contact us on Facebook.
I could have written all your answers to the questions myself lol, especially #4. I hate when people try to be over accommodating and go out of there way to make a special meal for me because then I feel like I am a burden. It’s my own problem and I know it, so please just carry on, I will make myself something later if need be lol. I also get sick less often than the rest of my family, and am a healthy weight so overall I think it could be worse.
Perhaps there is better way to include our SED friends and loved ones in the meal? No one wants to hurt their host’s or guest’s feelings.
Personally, I don’t have a problem making something you could eat or accepting a dish you brought for yourself just so you felt comfortable at the table. I would also understand if you felt more comfortable at a separate table, away from the aromas of other offensive foods. It’s hardly a burden to accommodate an invited guest.
Do you have any suggestions?
This reminds me of my son as well, although he does have a few other things on his list. Interesting though how some of his staples are the same (just substitute rice for bread since we live outside of the U.S.). I’m new to your blog but have already found it so encouraging, thanks!
Thank you, Becky, and welcome. 🙂
Love this post! It explains so much of what my own daughter is probably thinking. Her eating habits sound so similar. She won’t eat noodles either, and I’m sure she thinks the texture is slimy/gross too. Her main staples are similar to Travis too. She has her blocked items she’ll eat, but she doesn’t get outside the box very often. Even if she does try something new, it’s rare that it’s expanded to her “safe” food list. Very eye opening and insightful guest post. I truly enjoyed reading it!
Travis, I cannot thank you enough for allowing your story to be retold. I hope others will find it and realize that they aren’t really all that weird and that there are many others that eat the same way they do.
Mostly, I hope your generosity gives others the courage to speak out and demand acceptance of the way they eat in a foodie world that expects change from those who can’t.
Thank you. 🙂