I am not a bitter person, but many things in my day-to-day life make me feel bitter. People who don't stand to the right on escalators. Men who don't call. Unfair BART parking tickets that are upheld even when you have photographic evidence you were in the right. But I digress. According to the National Bitter Melon Council bitterness is defined as loss with attachment, which I learned when NBMC co-founders Hiroko Kikuchi and Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu stopped by SOMArts a few weeks ago for a special presentation during the group exhibition A Sensory Feast. The show (co-sponsored by SOMArts and Kearny Street Workshop) was populated with art that cleverly activated all five of your senses, and on this particular evening the Council kept with the theme by offering bitter melon chips for the brave to munch on while Kikuchi and Liu explained their group's mission. The NBMC is genuinely and earnestly devoted to the promotion of bitter melon, but they also use their projects to foster community and have some fun too. Whether they're cross-breeding melons in an attempt to produce ones that are bittersweet, using salt to try to remove the bitterness from a neighborhood, or convincing farmers to put bitter melons into their CSA boxes, the NBMC intentionally operates on a number of literal and metaphoric levels. As for bitterness itself, in life as in food, maybe it's just an acquired taste.