The first taste of an olive can be a bit shocking. But eventually, many of us start to enjoy bitter fruits, nuts and beverages. Screenshot from TEDxTalks/Youtube.com hide caption itoggle caption Screenshot from TEDxTalks/Youtube.com The Salt Why Can We Taste Bitter Flavors? Turns Out, It's Still A Mystery November 13, 2013 The first bite of a bitter fruit or nut can be shocking, even revolting. That's led scientists to think that bitter tastes evolved to help us avoid poisonous plants. But a new a genetic study in Africa challenges that notion.