A unique flavour tripping experience! Event photos here
For Noah’s 28th birthday I wanted to do something special, unique, and with a tie-in to his passion for things sustainable like recycling and reusing products while at the same time surprising our guests and awakening them, and him, to a brand new experience that they have never witnessed. From here, the flavour tripping experience was conceived!
We watch a show on Planet Green TV called Future Food where the chefs Omar and Ben, owners of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, combine science with food to create unique experiences for their guests. In one episode Omar introduced the miracle fruit and claimed its use as a solution to world hunger. Now, while I am not necessarily a full believer that this fruit can solve world hunger I do believe that there are many widespread uses for the berry that we are not yet using, and flavour tripping is one way to get awareness of the berry out to the masses.
The miracle fruit is a berry that has existed in Africa for centuries and has been used by the locals as a way to enhance foods that they normally would not eat to make them more palatable: grasses, flowers, and even some leaves or roots. The miracle fruit berry itself has a special ability — when the flesh of the berry is chewed the juice of the berry binds to your tongue’s taste receptors and for a period of about 45 minutes to one hour it turns foods that are tart, sour, and bitter into foods that are sweet and savory!
My friend Knape tried this with me one night while planning for the experience and WOW! We were amazed at what was happening on our tongue; lemons literally were as sweet as candy, juicy tomatoes were incredibly succulent and ketchup and mustard were by far the best foods we had ever eaten. Yes, you read that right, ketchup and mustard. Stout beer suddenly turned almost sweet with a very pleasant taste and orange juice became orange candy; it was incredible! We tried some SweetTart candy just for the experience and, well, that was not such a good experience. Our taste buds were overwhelmed with the sweetness of the candy (that and garlic were a close tie for worst foods of the evening).
I worked with a local gastropub — The Meddlesome Moth — in the Lower Oak Lawn/Design District of downtown Dallas to help design a tasting menu. We decided on an amuse-bouche style dinner party with samplings of foods like lemons and limes, goat cheese with cantaloupe bruschetta, samplings of different acidic juices (lemon, lime, orange, apple, grapefruit, and blackberry lemonade (sans sugar of course), and an ending of spiced chocolate mousse with roasted pecans and cayenne pepper. Our party last about 2.5 hours with everyone using between 2-3 mberry tablets. Everyone was very surprised at the changes in food flavors, and were constantly fighting the battle between what the mind tells thinks the food should taste like versus what the taste buds are revealing. It truly was a magnificent experience that enlightened my guests, surprised my partner, and helped bring awareness to a true miracle fruit.
Many thanks to Charles at MyMBerry for helping me with the order and details of the miracle fruit tablets and Chad at The Meddlesome Moth for helping to design the menu!
I encourage you to try the miracle berry out for yourself here. Let me know what you think in the comments!