Many vegetables, but particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, contain compounds called glucosinolates. Some people can taste these compounds, finding them incredibly bitter, while others can’t taste them at all.
That said, recent research found that there is a gene (gene hTAS2R38 if you really want to know) that is responsible for the perception of these glucosinolates. So, if you have a “sensitive” versions of the gene, you are a genetic “super-taster” — with more specialized taste buds on the tip of your tongue than the average person. Super-tasters rated broccoli and its related vegetables 60% more bitter than non-super-tasters!
Women are more likely to be super-tasters than men. And, interestingly, many chefs are super-tasters. Most parents probably assume that their children are super-tasters, given that so many children have an aversion to vegetables!!! Now, if you can’t stand black coffee, you also turn up your nose at bitter-tasting grapefruit juice, spinach, green tea, soy products & brocoli — you can blame your mom/your genes and announce proudly that’s it’s because you are super… well a super-taster at least!