Sunday, 14 December 2008

Experimenting With Miracle Fruit

Yesterday, I experimented with miracle fruit, an African berry which masks your tastebuds' ability to perceive bitterness and sourness. I had read about the berry in a New York Times article earlier this year, and ordered my berries (in tablet form) from ThinkGeek.

I discovered that it is better to let it slowly dissolve on your tongue, rather than sucking or chewing on the tablet, and it is probably best to take two at a time. Once your tastebuds have been thoroughly befuddled, it's time to try tasting random things around the kitchen and see how different (if at all) they taste.

The best results (unsurprisingly) come from foods which are quite bitter or sour to begin with. Grapefruit tastes great, orange juice tastes like orange creamsicle and red wine tastes like super-sweet grape juice. Tomato sauce tasted very strange, and for some reason homemade vanilla and cinnamon mead tasted just horrible (it's usually very nice, really).

Of course, I also sampled a beer - Key West Sunset Ale. The hops nearly disappear, and the way the malt sweetness came out reminded me of a Double IPA, which may sound strange, considering it was impossible to taste bitterness. I would have liked to have tried more varieties of beer, but I have been slowly emptying my refrigerator in preparation for the big move tomorrow and had quite limited options.

It was an interesting and memorable experience, although next time I may spring for fresh berries rather than tablets.

UPDATE: For your viewing pleasure, a video from the "flavor tripping" party visited by The New York Times:

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