Sunday, 22 June 2014

Broccoli and Celery really are Horrible. It is Genetic!


                Decades ago President George Bush (senior) commented that he did not like broccoli. The provoked a massive media circus with outraged protests from broccoli growers. Bush seemed somewhat bewildered by this response. “I just don’t like the taste!”. Decades later, his son uses his position to forward his opinion that he dislikes gay marriage. He probably got off lighter than his father!

                The difference between gay marriage and broccoli is that no one has tried to force me to try gay marriage or homosexuality. Broccoli, on the other hand...My aunt gave me a cook book where nearly every recipe uses broccoli. In between the recipes are articles on the miraculous powers of broccoli. Even my nice Chinese take-away sneaks it into my order occasionally. My mother, typically just resorted to threats and bullying, but I held firm.

                It is OK to dislike broccoli! You are in fact in a majority! Broccoli is one of those foods where how it tastes depends on genetic factors. Broccoli contains compounds such as PTC (phenylthiocarbamide). Some people can barely taste them while other people find them repulsive. What is interesting is that the majority of the population can taste them. 70% of the world population can taste (and dislikes!) these compounds. In different regions this varies from 59-75%.

          Let me emphasise that this is a genetic thing. Two people can eat the same thing but it will taste totally different to each. Two people can eat the same thing from the same plate and one will think “oh, that is nice” and the other will think “yuck!”. For the majority of the population, they will not like it!

          Celery seems to be another genetically determined taste. Some people talk about “pleasant nutty flavour” while to others it seems metallic. Celery is an ingredient in Marmite and notably even the advertising slogan of this product is “You will either love it or hate it”.

          If you like broccoli and celery, go ahead and eat it. But understand that most of the human race is not tasting the same as you are. If you are going to use these ingredients in a dinner, it is just good manners to find out if your guests are tolerant of them. The chances are they are not! If you are selling food commercially, avoid these things, most of your customers will want to! Stop sneaking it into our food, it is just wasting food and money! Stop forcing it on children, they probably have good reasons not to eat it. To them, it really does taste that bad!
 
Good Hosts do not serve Broccoli!