Before we get into flavor tripping, let us talk about teacher of teachers fruit. The miracle fruit is a remarkable little berry native to West Africa. It has been used for centuries, but remains relatively unknown due to sporadic media coverage, not to mention a few commercial roadblocks along the way. It has, however, gathered a little bit of buzz due to foodies, dieters, and doctors taking an interest. This berry has a remarkable little quality about it.
Chewing on the berry, swirling the pulp and its juices around your tongue for about a minute or so, brings about a peculiar sensation to your taste buds for the next 15 minutes to 2 hours. Anything you eat that is sour will taste extremely sweet. Pucker-inducing fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruits no longer taste sour, but end up tasting like some of the sweetest fruits you will ever have. You can squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water and drink it straight; it will taste just like sweetened lemonade.
This is where flavor tripping parties come in. Flavor tripping parties have caught on lately. People gather and consume miracle fruit, then they eat a variety of sour or bitter foods to experience them in a whole new way. It is a real gastronomic oddity. Goat cheese has been said to taste like cake frosting. Rhubarb has been described as a sweet celery. Even strawberries have been said to taste like they have been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Some people even try shots of apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and hot sauce.
Perhaps you would like to throw a flavor tripping party of your own. The following 4 steps will get you on the right track to throwing a successful and memorable flavor tripping party.
Step 1: Acquire miracle fruit. As of now, miracle fruit comes in two forms: as berries or freeze dried tablets. Berries can run for about 3 bucks each and have a short shelf-life of about 2 to 3 days. Because of their high perishability, many people opt for the miracle fruit tablets. On average, they come in packs of 10, and have a shelf-life of about a year. Each tablet is the equivalent of 3 berries, and the price per pack can be anywhere from 12 to 15 dollars. You may check some specialty food and exotic fruit stores, but online suppliers will be your best bet.
Step 2: Provide and prepare appropriate foods for your guests. The more sour the food, fruit, or drink then the greater the effect will be. You can even ask your guests to pitch in and bring their own favorite fruits, beers, wines, and food to try with the miracle fruit. Approach this in the spirit of fun and experimentation. Let their curiosity (and yours) run wild. Also, you will want to prepare your food the day that you have the party. Since the effects of the miracle fruit last for only a short period of time (15 minutes up to 2 hours), you do not want to be spending that time prepping your food. Make sure that your foods and fruits are cut into bite-size pieces.
Step 3: Taste some of the food samples by themselves. It is always fun to try some of the fruits or foods prior to eating the miracle fruit. Why? It establishes a baseline, and gives you a point of reference to be able to compare and contrast how remarkably different the foods taste.
Step 4: Eat the miracle fruit the right way. If you are eating a berry, chew on the pulp, but not the pit. If you are taking a tablet, let it dissolve slowly on your tongue. No chewing! Mix, swirl, or swish the juices in your mouth, covering as much of your tongue and palate as possible. This should take 1 to 2 minutes. Get rid of the pit if you are flavor tripping with berries. You are ready to embark on your gastronomic journey.
Warning: Be careful not to overdo it on the acidic foods. Acidic foods are still acidic, whether they taste unbearably sweet or not. Your stomach will thank you. Feel free to experiment. Water some of those things down if you have to. This is all about having an interesting and fun experience with other people. Go all out, but be advised.
Angel is a miracle fruit enthusiast, blogger, and reseller of miracle fruit tablets. His first flavor trip was in the summer of 2008. For flavor tripping recipes, taste suggestions, or miracle fruit information, go here: