Monday, February 22, 2010

Flavor Trippin' part 1: Uh, What?

Ok, so there's this trippy West-African plant called the Miracle Berry Plant, which yields the eponymous Miracle Fruit (which, in a bizarre coincidence, is full of the protein Miraculin). When eaten or, more precisely, when masticated and rolled around on the tongue, the pulp of the Miracle Fruit causes sour food to taste sweet. I know: miraculous.

So now all the cool kids are buying Miracle Berry, raiding the pantry, and flavor tripping. And doing shots of cider vinegar.

The experience is kind of like being marooned on Malacandra and having to taste everything around you to decide if they are tasty or disgusting.

Citrus fruit was quite divine, with lemon sprinkled with cinnamon seeming to come out as everyone's favourite.  Other combinations, like the lemon with jalapeƱo mustard above, were as horrible as you might expect, but in a truly different and unique way.  It was a terrible betrayal, like a Merle Haggard song at a French restaurant.

Flavor Trippin' part 2: The Horrible Truth

As much as we wanted this experience to be amazing and life-changing, it turned out to be mostly disgusting.  The problem is that the fruit changes your taste, but not your sense of smell.  And, of course, there are only five tastes; everything else is smell.

So while Tabasco might all-of-a-sudden taste as sweet as doughnut glaze, it still smells like vinegar and is, of course, still a bit spicy.

Sauerkraut suffers the same fate: the taste is new, sweet, and interesting, but it still smells like sauerkraut.  This was really the downfall of everything we tried: mustards, tequilas, vinegars, olives, pickled beans, you name it.

It also rendered the wine we had served with dinner undrinkable.