Sunday, April 14, 2013

Studio 5: Miracle Berry Tasting Party


*Studio 5 video to be posted Monday Afternoon.
**Recipes to follow this post.
Liven up your next dinner party or family gathering with the Miracle berry!  You will be laughing, grimacing, exclaiming and having fun!

I did this recently with just six of us...the word of the night?  "Amazing".  Nothing earth shattering here, but a playful gustatory experience.

We trust our senses for the most part, but with CGI (computer generated imagery) it's hard to know if what we see is real these days.  Smell and taste are two senses not easily manipulated, so sucking on a lemon wedge with pleasure and not puckering just seems downright impossible.

Introducing the Miracle berry.  It will do that and more!

The Miracle fruit ( a small red berry called Synsepalum Dulcificum) is native to West Africa and has been known to westerners since the 18th century.  The cause of the taste reaction is a protein called Miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to the scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida's Center for Smell and Taste.

Basically, anything that is inherently sour and/or bitter will taste sweet.

How to plan your party?

Purchase M Berry Tablets.  Sold on Amazon and on M Berry's website... just Google it.  There are other brands, but this one seems reliable.

Cost?  About .60 to .75 cents a serving.  The box has 10 tablets (cut in half for 20 servings) and will cost about $15 a box or less if you buy more.

The fresh berries are very perishable so the tables are the easier way to go.

Create a platter of food to experiment with.  This should include a lot of fruit.  Fruit has natural sour notes to it, so it will all taste like the best fruit you've ever tasted.  Berries, which aren't too tart will be bursting with sweetness.  Lemons will taste like lemonade.

I also included Salt & Vinegar chips and sour candy, but refer to my list of foods to try below.

It's not a bad idea to have your guests try a small amount of the tasting platter before you chew the tablet, so they can be assured they really are sour and can compare the taste.

Have guests chew their half-tablet.  Keep it in your mouth as you chew, spreading the tablet over the tongue.  It takes about 1-2 minutes for full effectiveness and will last about 30 - 45 minutes.

Start with the less sour items, first and work up to the lemon.  I would also start with the fruit and vegetables and then go to column 2.  Eat small amounts, otherwise you could end up with a tummy ache.

Foods to try:

Strawberries
Raspberries
Blackberries
Blueberries
Lemons
Grapefruit
Orange
Green apples
Pineapple
Cherries
Kiwi
Lime
Red Peppers
Tomatoes
Siracha hot sauce
Lemon juice shooter
Sour Cream
Sour Candy
Salt & Vinegar Chips
Cheeses (Goat cheese works well)
Cream cheese
Balsamic Vinegar Shooter
Warheads (Lemon candy)
Salami
Dill pickles


Many thanks to my Sister and Brother-in-law (Monte & Sand Bates) and our friends, Dana & Brad Smith for being such good sports!

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