My mother has no taste buds. I’ve been suspicious of this for a while. She never orders anything adventurous on the menu. She doesn’t cook with many spices. She likes to put sour cream on a lot of her food. These are things I’ve known for a long time. But today, I made some spicy enchiladas. Now you may not know this about me, but I like spicy foods. I mean, I REALLY like spicy foods. Flavorless meats or dishes make me want to barf because they have no kick to them; I like the kick. So I made some spicy enchiladas today. I made the normal recipe but added a can of green chilis and a can of jalapenos. I tasted the meat mix as I filled the tortillas and my allergies ran away; my sinus cavities were cleared. I warned my dad that the enchiladas were a little spicy. His response, “If you say they’re a little spicy, they must be HOT, HOT!”
My mom was still fixing her plate of enchiladas when my dad had gotten through the first three bites of his meal. He was panting and shouting a bit. He got up to get himself a glass of milk to tone it down. When my mom started eating her enchiladas, she had literally no response. She didn’t taste the spice; she was too concerned with her hunger. I really didn’t get it. Even I, the lady who loves spicy foods, felt the heat a little bit. But Ma Bunn took it as if it was ice cream or yogurt. It was weird.
My mother has no taste buds. I’ve heard my dad tell tales of when they were first married. He would fix a meal of sheep balls or cow brains and she’d eat them heartily until she found out what they were. She didn’t even notice that the taste and texture of the icky parts were different than standard animal fare.
I don’t know what to do about my mom’s lack of taste buds. Can I experiment on her some more? Can I use her as a study subject while I find my way around the kitchen? I find it odd that my mom has no taste buds and I don’t think I’ll get over it for a while.