Have you heard about the miracle berry? I hadn't until I got the invite to the latest edition of Foodie Meet that happened on Sunday. A fruit that claims to alter your taste buds so that sour and bitter foods taste sweeter and mellower? Scary! Sign me up!
We met in a room at the National Film Board that was replete with items for tasting once we'd popped the berries. An array of citrus fruits, jalapeño and salt & vinegar chips, pickles, goat cheese, tomatoes, tabasco sauce, white and apple cider vinegars, tomato juice, sparkling and rosé wines, and Guiness were on display. I was getting excited.
After a quick explanation of how to consume the fruit, we did the deed. It was quite funny standing in a room of about 30 people silently rolling a tiny, mysterious fruit around in their mouths for 2 minutes, all wondering what would happen next.
The benchmark to know if the fruit had done it's job was to suck on a lemon. My mind got thoroughly blown by this. It was like lemon flavoured candy - so sweet! It was on. Because the effects of the fruit can wear off in as little as 30 minutes, and there was so much tasting to be done, after the shock wore off, we all tore into the sample foods to taste the difference.
My absolute favourite taste was the ruby red grapefruit. I'm a fan of grapefruit anyway, but this was the best I've ever tasted it. It was still grapefruit-y, but the best parts of grapefruit. Fresh and lively, but yes, oh so sweet. The pickles and the tomato juice, which I'm not a fan of anyway, certainly didn't change my mind under the influence of the miracle berry. They were definitely more mellow, but in the case of the juice, it was mellow to the point of bland.
Other less than pleasant surprises were the grape tomatoes and the rosé wine, which became overwhelmingly sweet. The apple cider vinegar, however, became like a very nice balsamic.
A big thanks to Suresh and Andrea for conceiving of and executing this tasting. It was a lot of fun, despite the after-effects of consuming that much acid in a short period. And it was certainly not something I would have ever gotten to, or thought to experience without this event. I'm definitely looking forward to the next Foodie Meet. If you're in Toronto, sign up for their newsletter to join in.