2008 was the Year of Miracle Fruit. Its popularity briefly exploded after a New York Times article (at least in my dim recollection-- I'd thought this was in 2009) about "flavor tripping" parties. Those two words together proved irresistible to me, and I was determined to try this miracle fruit, which briefly re-wires your taste buds, making sour foods taste sweet. However, after a few weeks of searching, as usual, I moved on to another fad because anything can hold my attention only for so long.
Eventually, I'd all but forgotten about miracle fruit. But just this week, out of nowhere, I was offered a magic ticket to a Google sponsored event at the Counting Room in Williamsburg and an even more magical pill-- a concentrated extract of the berry.
So... should I grind it up and snort it? Maybe I could snort lemons afterwards and see if it tasted delicious. Smoke it? Inject it? No... just roll it around on your tongue. Oh, ok... I can do that.
For some reason, all I could think of was "Magic Bus."
The taste was mildly sweet and a little fruity, but mostly chalky. I let it coat my mouth before it eventually dissolved and immediately ordered beers and a shot of tequila. The cheap tequila (I'm thinking El Toro, a classic of my college years) is allegedly supposed to taste like Patron. If so, I asked myself, does Patron taste like the nectar of the gods when full-on tripping off of miracle berries? I never got that far, as I was soon distracted by other things (not that this is some kind of theme with me).
To my surprise, Melissa was able to actually drink a beer, mostly by herself. The Times article boasts that Guinness "tastes like a chocolate milkshake," but obviously the writer had never tasted Mother's Milk Stout, which already tastes like a milkshake without hallucinogenic enhancements of any type. To me, it tasted specifically like a chocolate milkshake made with Carnation instant mix, but with an almost sickly sweet aftertaste. Similarly, my Full Sail Session Lager, which already has a slight sweetness, was cloyingly sweet. Flavors lingered on my tongue for an uncomfortably long time. I wanted them to go away. Was I having a bad flavor trip?
Tasting citrus changed everything. As everyone notes, citrus is by far the best. Grapefruit morphed into fruity-textured candy, and lemons became the best lemonade I've ever had. I only had a bite of lime immediately after taking the tequila shot, but it seemed to be the weakest of all.
Blue cheese was easily the worst thing I tried. It was sweet and almost metallic tasting. Avoid. Other cheeses didn't seem much affected, like swiss and cream cheese.
After only thirty minutes it was over. I was coming down, and the sour no longer tasted as sweet, nor the beer as chocolatey. Instead, the feeling was replaced with depression and the realization that we still needed to actually eat dinner.
As we left, the most apt song of the evening blared over the speakers.