The Bitter Essence

Odorama 39 with Caro Verbeek, Kees Wabeke, Bas Visser, Sarojini Lewis and Sabien Poutsma

16 Jul 2020

Remember your first cup of coffee? All those times you had to finish a plate of Brussel sprouts? Although gruesome to most kids and allegedly an indication of poison in plants, grown-ups have learned to love this taste more than any other: bitterness. It characterizes our favorite products like beer, coffee and of course chocolate. Research has demonstrated that bitter is actually essential for our health and not an indication of poison like many of us think. Yet 'bitter' is also used as a metaphor for suffering. For many artist, this ambiguity forms a fertile source of inspiration. Considering our fascination for this acquired taste, shouldn't we attribute more positive qualities to it?

You can visit this lecture in real life and let your senses do the work, or follow it via our livestream and receive a sample kit at home.

Tickets / Facebook

Brussel Sprouts -


During this Odorama we will take you on a bittersweet trip and challenge you to explore the word of bitterness in your mouth and your mind. Chocolatier Sabien Poutsma will make your mouth water with her story on the darkest of chocolate. Education professional Kees Wabeke will show you a school children's gardening project at the Rijksmuseum. And former neuroscientist turned beer sommelier Bas Visser will turn you on with his talk on Oedipus Brewing. Last but not least, artist Sarojini Lewis will tell us about the bitter taste of the migrated vegetable called karela as a metaphor for her migrated ancestors. There will be a lot to taste!


Odorama 39: The Bitter Essence
Thursday, the 16th of July
Start 20:00

Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam. Or via Instagram live with a scent-kit sent to your home.

Tickets: Full price €12,50 | Student / Artist / Stadspas €8,75* (incl. €1,- administration costs) | Live stream ticket, including a sample kit sent to your home €12,50.

You can buy a livestream ticket until Tuesday July 14th, 2pm. Then we have enough time to send you a sample kit. The livestream will be available to anyone on Instagram. 

*We give a discount to students and artists. If this applies to you we will ask to see your kvk nr/portfolio or student card for this option. For questions please send an email to

Follow online

With the guidelines of our government in mind, we've decided to lessen the number of people allowed on site. Therefore you can follow this lecture also online via Instagram live. The bodily experience that is common to our Odorama lecture, however, will not get lost. We just send the flavours and smells to you. If you buy a livestream ticket for this event before Tuesday the 14th of July, we send you a sample kit at home to enjoy during the lecture, plus a brief grocery list.