Friday, March 25, 2011


When I was in Taiwan I picked up some "miracle fruit" tables.  You may be familiar with miracle fruit from the nytimes article about flavor-tripping parties.  The fruits coat your taste buds and cause sour-flavors to become intensely sweet.

And so, we threw a party.
 We laid out an array of condiments, buttermilk, vinegars, "sour cupcakes" with goat-cheese frosting, out-of-season strawberries and kiwis, grapefruit, limes, and lemons.

We placed the pills on our tongues and tried not to make jokes about E as they dissolved.  We looked cautiously at each other, feeling no change, wondering if it worked.

I tasted a slice of lemon.

It was like CANDY.  The transformation of flavors was so unexpected and exciting I burst into laughter.  Everyone else reached for the lemons.  Hijinks ensued.
All the pictures of people are blurry because we couldn't stop giggling/grimacing from the different flavors.

At the end, the verdict?  We had tried various horrific cheeses (see photo below) to great disgust.  The unsweetened mochi I had made was also disappointing.  However, things with a natural sour-taste were amazing.  The strawberries and kiwis tasted like peak-summer farmers stand berries, not sad winter grocery-store buys.  The citrus was unbelievable, and the vinegars tasted amazingly mild (though you still felt the "burn" at the back of your throat).  Salt and vinegar chips were the winner of the night, by far.  A stout beer tasted like coca-cola.  Goat cheese tasted like starbursts (not my thing, but other people liked it).  Carrot sticks and broccoli were the same, but mustards and sriracha were awesome, though several of us overdid the sriracha and spent several minutes trying to calm our mouths down!

The hour passed in the blink of an eye.  It felt like a mad-scramble of nibbling and eating and when it was over, we were exhausted and in some cases feeling a bit pickled from the vinegar.  Overall, the experience was in fact trippy after all and I think we were all glad to have tried it.  And in case the urge comes again, I have a second pack safely stowed away ;)

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