Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A miracle? You must be trippin'.

It took me a minute to write the opening line of this entry. I first typed that I heard about flavor tripping on Food Network, but that may not be true. Then, I was going to say that I heard about it on the Goons with Spoons website. Maybe...

Flavor tripping is something that I can tell you with complete certainty that I have wanted to try since I heard of it. I mentioned it to several co-workers who turned up their noses at the thought of eating lemons and swilling vinegar. My mother thought it was a "drug thing" when I explained that you dissolve a little tablet on your tongue. My best friend shook her head disconcertingly when I offered her a tablet the next day, telling me that she doesn't like to "experiment".

Well, what is flavor tripping? It involves ingesting either a tablet or the pulp of the miracle berry. The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids.

Miracle fruit is even being tested with cancer patients, as it seems to alleviate a metallic taste that some chemotherapy patients experience, possibly causing a loss in appetite.

This means lemons taste like lemonade, goat cheese tastes like cheesecake, and strawberries taste as if they're coated in sugar.

The party took place Monday night a B Side Lounge and was hosted by Stove Monkeys. It featured food from Light Bistro (one of our favorites) and North End Wine Bar. We were offered the choice of a fresh berry or a tablet (Tablets were provided by mberry) and opted for the fresh berry at first. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't very taken with the fresh berry. I constantly asked myself, "Did I do this right?" and didn't really notice a drastic difference in the taste of most foods presented to us. I really wish I would have tried a lemon before I had the berry. After 10 minutes or so, I decided to return to the table where the tablets were sold. We purchased tablets this time. I dissolved one completely on my tongue, making sure to rub the tablet along the receptor areas completely. A minute later, I enthusiastically bit into a lemon wedge.


The tablet did the trick, for sure. It tasted just like a drink of lemonade. There were ceviche shots and the scallops tasted even sweeter than before. Hot sauce was still hot, but I think I was able to go past the heat somewhat and taste the pepper that the sauce was made from. The same could be said for the jalapenos. The salt and vinegar chips tasted as great as I think they do normally, but not in a face-puckeringly tart way. I wish we would have tried the beers provided after the tablet, it would've been neat. Luckily, we purchased a pack of 10 on the way out (thanks, mberry!) so we'll be able to trip again and again. If we had more space in our apartment, I'd even like to host a party but that would never happen where we live, currently.

You can purchase the tablets online from mberry for $14.99.