At Death’s Door

  • Paul A. Moore


One of the more interesting jobs within the annals of history, at least from a sensory perspective, has to be the taste tester. This is the person who is hired, coerced, or bought into a job whose sole purpose is to sample the food planned for another person. Often this other person is someone who is important, such as a monarch or dictator. The taster samples the various food that has been prepared, and if they survive, the food is deemed safe to eat. Any poisons, poorly cooked meals, or bad food will be detected by the health of the taster before it reaches the king or queen. As a side note, if the taster is sampling beverages, their official title is cupbearer. Taste testers are still being used today as even modern presidents of both the United States and Russia use their skills.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations