Saturday, July 26, 2008

Miracle Fruit: Willy Wonkerish or The Emperor's New Clothes

It is said that when you eat the Miracle Berry it binds to your taste buds and makes bitter food taste sweet. I was a skeptic but excited at La Strada last evening, where over a hundred people ate a berry and then sampled a variety of food. I was there for the experience. My research indicted that the effects wore off after between 30 minutes to an hour.

i'm never full handed each one of us a berry in a little plastic bag and we were told to wait. After everyone had their berry, she carefully explained how we were to eat it. First we popped the berry into our mouths, then we chewed it and rolled the masticated fruit over our tongues.

I ventured forth chewing on my berry and rolling it around on my tongue for a minute or so. as I was anxiously awaited having a new tasting experience. Would this be like some delightful experiment one would find at Willy Wonker’s lab in the chocolate factory or more like the experience of the magical clothes in Hans Christian Anderson’s story about the Emperor’s new clothes?

After waiting a few minutes for the berry effect to kick in, I sampled some fruit, lemons, limes and cantaloupe. Oh ha! The lemons and limes had lost much of their tartness and had an over all sweet taste about them. I then ate some brussels sprouts, which tasted just like… brussels sprouts. I also tried some vinegar potato chips, pungent cheese, beer, and tequila – nothing. I drank some tabasco sauce and my lips burned, the tabasco sauce was drinkable, but let’s face it, I have never wished I could drink tabasco sauce, so no victory there. I also tasted some balsamic vinegar, which seemed alright.

I can see using the berry to sweeten food that has sour undertones. While I noticed my taste buds were slightly altered for a couple of hours following the eating of the berry, I never experienced the radical changes in my taste buds that the articles I had read indicated would be the consequence.

All in all, I think we all had a good time. For me there were two main positive outcomes from the tasting, I got to some of my on-line Houston Chowhounds friends and now I can say I have tasted the Miracle Berry. Thank you i’m never full for putting together this event. It was memorable.

Plant Background for all of you with scientific or curious minds:

Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Synsepalum (sin-SEP-al-lum) (Info)
Species: dulcificum (dul-SIF-ih-kum) (Info)


katie said...

It sounds like your experience was about on par with everybody else's. I am so glad I didn't expire from jealousy!

Misha said...

I still find the number of people who turned out for this thing very surprising. Sure, miracle berries may fool your mouth into thinking sour is sweet. Maybe we just needed more berries to get the full effect, but at the end of the day it's still just an amusing novelty.

Then there are places like Feast, Voice and Randy's Tenacity dinners, which really blow your palate wide open, but aren't exactly booked to capacity every night.

Is it just the price difference?

Food Princess said...

I think one can attribute the turnout to, good publicity, novelty, and socializing. Beyond that people are just not that adventuresome. A whole meal of unfamiliar or foreign ingredients may jus be over the top?

miracle fruiter said...

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We offer the tablets, plants and berries :)