Is an on-site DNA test the next step in catering to customers’ tastes? Hopefully not until science first gives us our hover-boards. But NPR has just shared details of a study suggesting that how we perceive certain flavors—in this case bitter—could vary drastically based on our genes.

It turns out that the difference between a sweet brussel sprout and a very bitter one can be less about your honey balsamic glaze and more the taste receptor gene TAS2R38. That’s because about 25% of the population has this gene, and it makes them particularly sensitive to bitter.

This is particular timely... 
Not just because today is National Kale Day but because bitter is currently a powerful trend with little sign of letting up any time soon. Bitter beerhouse-made bitters, brussel sprouts, bitter galangal and yes—kale—are being used throughout the biz to create complex layers and flavors like never before.

Heck, at NRA Show in May, Andrew Zimmer whipped up wok-tossed bitter melon with duck egg yolk and fermented bean paste. It’s one of his favorites…

So, would it be valuable for a chef or mixiologist developing flavor profiles to know that a quarter of consumers will have a dramatically different flavor experience?

Should foodies carry around knowledge of their taste receptors as many know their blood type?

Is the next step in the science of molecular gastronomy to add straight science of biology? Let’s observe and discuss…