Food: Soda Pop
Phenylthiocarbamide Cola   (+33)  [vote for, against]

The Real Idea: Phenylthiocarbamide Cola, or PTC Cola for short, is a soft drink that contains its eponymous chemical. This additive is tasteless to about 30% of the population, who do not carry the dominant gene necessary to taste it. For the other 70%, however, the chemical tastes extremely bitter and disgusting. Those who carry the recessive gene can hoard the soda to themselves, as no one else will want to drink it.

The Fluff: "Hey there, Jim Bob. How're ya doing?"

"Just fine. Say, you want to come in and have a drink?"

"Alright. Waittaminute! Those cans look different from the soda that you usually have!"

"That's right. Whenever I get a few Cokes, Lola and the kids get in here and drink 'em all dry before I can have a sip. Get's a man thirsty, you know. That's why I got this Phenylthiocarbamide Cola here."

"Phena-whatsit Cola?"

"Just call it PTC Cola. I reckon it contains a chemical that makes it taste pretty bad to anyone who carries a certain gene. Luckily, I don't carry that gene, so it tastes just like Coke to me. But Lola has the gene, and she passed it on to the kids, so none of 'em can stand the stuff. I let them learn that the hard way. So do ya want a can or not?"

"Yeah, sure, I guess. Ugh--this stuff tastes horrible!"
-- DrWorm, Dec 07 2009

6-n-propylthiouracil, or PROP
Another chemical that some people can't taste [Wrongfellow, Dec 09 2009]

Wikipedia: Photic Sneeze Reflex http://en.wikipedia...hotic_sneeze_reflex
Wow, a condition I never realised I had! [zen_tom, Dec 09 2009]

All cola tastes disgusting, but have a [+] for ingenuity.
-- pocmloc, Dec 07 2009

[+] unless I find out I have the gene to taste it.
-- FlyingToaster, Dec 07 2009

There should be a party game where people are people are progressively weeded out based on their genes, first a round of magic eye (What is the image?, a horse? alright), then examine an inverted rotating mask (does it look inverted? No, good your not schizophrenic), then drink some PTC cola (did you make a face? No?), then head outside in the bright sun (did you sneeze? No?), then get in your car and guess what color is the (for the game modified) stoplight, (did you crash? No?) O.K. I guess you win.
-- leinypoo13, Dec 07 2009

[pocmloc], agreed. Give me root beer over cola any day.
-- DrWorm, Dec 07 2009

-- 8th of 7, Dec 07 2009

Why stop at cola? Sell Phenylthiocarbamide as a condiment. Useful to protect your lunch in the office fridge. Usefull, too, for couples one of whom is dieting (21% of such couples, anyway): Normally, the kitchen must be emptied of pastry, ice cream, etc, so that the dieter isn't tempted. This is hard on the non-dieter. The nondieter can stock up on goodies, which'll taste horrible to the dieter, but fine to the nondieter. [+]
-- mouseposture, Dec 07 2009

[+], especially for turning Mendelian inheritance into a consumer issue.

Although PTC is the classic example, there must surely be other flavours that only subsets of the population can taste?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 07 2009

When I saw 'carbamide' in the title my first thought was

"holy $hit, this guy is going to make a billion off of this idea!"

Carbamide Peroxide is a common ingredient in many of the teeth whiteners that have been the rage for a decade or so. Combine this with Coca-Cola?

Zing - pow! Retire to a 50 million dollar seaside in Pacific Grove, set up full scholarships in your name for 200 students a year at a university of choice, own an internationally dominant ping pong team, and live like scrooge mcduck and hugh hefner rolled into one till your dying breath.
-- outloud, Dec 07 2009

//there must surely be other flavours that only subsets of the population can taste?//

I'm among the tiny fraction of the population that can't taste citric acid.

Also see my link.
-- Wrongfellow, Dec 09 2009

This is ace.
-- theleopard, Dec 09 2009

Can't taste citric acids, say? There's money in that...

"I'll bet you that I can eat this lemon whole."

There's actually a fruit called the Miracle Berry that, when eaten, prevents one from tasting sour foods for about an hour. Needless to say, once I got my hands on one I used it to partake in a buffet of raw citrus fruit, drinking vinegar to help it go down. Not a good idea; I had acid pains for the next day and a half.
-- DrWorm, Dec 09 2009

You'll probably find that 'Marmite' have been doing this for years!
-- gnomethang, Dec 09 2009

I still find lemons sour - I suppose there must be more to the taste than just the citric acid - but they're quite edible; I could easily eat a whole one.

People sometimes give me funny looks for eating the slices of lemon that pubs put in glasses of lemonade.

I have no idea how bad they taste to the rest of you, and I'll probably never know!

Oh, and when I was a kid I used to drink vinegar too, from a shot glass.
-- Wrongfellow, Dec 09 2009

There is nothing wrong with eating the lemon slices from your drink.
-- kaz, Dec 09 2009

No, but beware of eating them from someone else's....

// when I was a kid I used to drink vinegar too//

Hi there, so how did you end up on this lousy little planet ?
-- 8th of 7, Dec 09 2009

//Oh, and when I was a kid I used to drink vinegar too, from a shot glass.//

That's weird. You must be insensitive to acetic as well as citric acid.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2009

//No, but beware of eating them from someone else's....//

Depends how badly you're trying to break the ice.
-- kaz, Dec 09 2009

I shall market a competitive product some deliciously flavored, some embittered, and selectively distributed to certain locales of homogeneous ethnic concentrations and through a cunning manipulation exploit the racist mindset that may exist in some of those locales to associate enjoyment of the beverage as an endogenous characteristic and thus a fixture of identity for the discriminating and poor prejudicial souls who will loyally buy it as a vain attempt to validate their delusions.
-- rcarty, Dec 10 2009

//You must be insensitive to acetic as well as citric acid.//

Perhaps I am! To me, vinegar has a very sharp flavour, but I don't find it unpalatable at all. I tend to put a lot more of it on my chips than most people, too.

Maybe the same missing taste receptor is responsible for both?
-- Wrongfellow, Dec 12 2009

Or maybe you just like vinegar.
-- zen_tom, Dec 12 2009

Yes, I do like vinegar!

I'm tempted to write a long spiel about the perils of applying objective science to subjective opinions, but I probably shouldn't.
-- Wrongfellow, Dec 12 2009

No no, please do.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 12 2009

Golden [+].
-- nomadic_wonderer, Dec 12 2009

umm, i hate to be the guy who asks but... in large doses, over the long-term, isn't this bad for you?
-- neo_, Dec 13 2009

I don't think so.
-- DrWorm, Dec 13 2009

Now available with chips at an ACM near you +
-- xenzag, Dec 13 2009

random, halfbakery