#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Freebie Friday: 50 free $10 delivery vouchers » | Coca-Cola cupcakes » | A Taste of Sweden, IKEA Restaurant and Sweden Shop... » | Good Living Growers' Market, Pyrmont » | No-knead easy crusty bread » | Stomach's Eleven and a whole suckling pig » | Grotta Capri, Kensington, Sydney » | A Table for Nine » | Markets, Mingara and mementoes at The Entrance » | Surf Spot Cafe, The Entrance »

Monday, May 11, 2009

Miracle fruit, flavour tripping and a wig party

Miracle fruit. It's the latest craze to hit foodlovers' tables, if recent media coverage is anything to go by.

The reason for this interest? The berry, originally found in West Africa, contains miraculin, a molecule that disables the tastebuds that detect sourness. This alters the brain into thinking that sour or tart foods taste much sweeter. Lemons will apparently taste like lemonade and balsamic vinegar will taste like sweet syrup.

The unexpected alteration of flavours across a spectrum of different foods has led rise to "flavour tripping parties", particularly with the availabilty of miracle fruit tablets containing the active ingredient.

When Billy from A Table for Two received a packet of Miracle Frooties, he knew what he had to do: a flavour tripping party with Sydney food bloggers.

So an excited rabble descended on the home of Chocolatesuze, a group that included A Table for Two, Citrus & Candy, Eat Show & Tell, Here Comes the Food, Hungry Digital Elf, One Bite More, The ♥ of food and me.

And the wig? Oh yes, there was only one entry condition. Wigs must be worn. What better to trip with. And yes, there are wig photos at the very end of this post.

Making roti

We started with lunch, a sensible decision to line our stomachs with food before the acid overload of tastetesting. As lunch preparations got under way, I was intrigued by the whole roti-making process, one that started with opening a packet of frozen roti (they were great), lightly panfrying on both sides, and then crimping the pastry with tongs to make it puff up slightly.

And yes, one pan was being particularly uncooperative and burning roti.

Roti canai by Chocolatesuze, Mrs Thye
and a very good brand of frozen roti
(EDIT: Katoomba brand, pictured and available here

Oh the food. I love the happy mingling of dishes when everyone brings a plate. The standouts were Mrs Thye's curry (so tender and with just the right amount of heat) and her sticky glazed ribs. Simon's crispy fried prawn dumplings and scallops dumplings were also a hit, standing up well in the crunch factor despite being fried that morning and then warmed in the oven close to serving.

Sauteed mushrooms by Chocolatesuze

Glazed ribs by Mrs Thye (and reheated magnificently by Chocolatesuze)

Pumpkin, pear, bocconcini and pinenut salad by Chocolatesuze

Lentil salad by Shez

Sushi rolls by me

Crispy fried prawn dumplings and scallop dumplings by Simon

Chocolatesuze cosies up to some basil
(and if the pose looks familiar, yes, it was deliberate!)

Miracle Frooties

The food was so good, there was almost a reluctance to call an end to lunch and start the flavour tripping. Billy halved the tablets as directed (you can have half or whole) and pills were dispensed to everyone.

Dissolving a tablet on the tongue

The Miracle Frootie tablet itself is flavourless with a chalky texture. It quickly became apparent who naturally had more saliva in their mouths, as their tablets dissolved with speed. The rest of us, myself included, stood around for about five minutes trying in vain to speed up the process. And for those of you playing at home, the sour tastebud receptors are found on the sides of tongue all over the tongue, not just the sides as once believed (thanks for the tip, anon!).

Flavour tripping table

Finally, time for some flavour tripping!

We had no end of things to try, a whole table filled with types of foods, either salty or sour. Highlights included:

lemon - unanimously acknowledged as the group favourite, the lemons did taste like lemonade. There was a definite lemon flavour awash only with sweetness, like sucking on a fruit made of old -fashioned lemonade;

passionfruit pulp - had a strange gender divide when it came to taste. All the women reported it tasting strangely of chocolate sauce, whilst most of the men had little or no inkling of this (Yas excelled). I found it tasted like a cocoa sauce, not overly sweet or creamy, but somewhat bitter in a smooth way. The variation of people's tastes was fascinating in itself. Some people had better palates, and others seemed more affected by the miraculin;

strawberries, kiwifruit, limes, ruby red grapefruit and pomegranate - were all sweeter in taste, the strawberries and kiwifruit, in particular, heightened;

beer - tasted like coffee;

rice vinegar - had its acidity removed so it tasted like some form of liquer or spirit;

Fromage blanc (soft white cheese) - had a chalky blandness;

Yakult - took on a sweeter creaminess, turning into more of a smoothie than a yoghurt drink;

Warhead lollies - could be eaten without one's head blowing off, tasting more like sweet sherbet than cheek-twitching sourness; which leads me to

citric acid - the funniest one to try, tasting of sweet sherbet. Yas was especially enamoured and couldn't stop eating the stuff, only to realise too late that whilst the flavours of the foods change, their chemical properties don't. Too much acid in the stomach still makes one for unhappy camper.

The miraculin affects the tastebuds for 15-30 minutes.

Sour fruit platter

So much fun.

And then there was dessert. It seemed like everyone brought something. I wanted seconds of everything!

Simon's chocolate mousse was rich and sikly, Suze's peach slice had a delicious shortbread-style base, we adored the fresh strawberries and passionfruit inside the pavlova roulade bought by Yas, and waxed lyrical over Karen's lime brulee tart. My Coca-Cola cupcakes had extra fizz from the cola Wizz Fizz sprinkled on top, but the show-stopper had to be Billy's Domo-kun cake, the Japanese TV channel NHK mascot!

Dessert buffet

Adding cream to the chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse by Simon

Peach slice by Chocolatesuze

Lime brulee tart by Karen

Pavlova bought by Yas from Sideways Deli Cafe

Coca-Cola cupcakes by me

Domo-kun cake by Billy

Thank you Billy for sharing your Miracle Frooties, Suze for being such a great host, Mrs Thye for her outstanding cooking contributions, and fellow food bloggers for being such good company!

EDIT 13/05/09: Due to popular demand (haha), a pic of me in wig now included above.

Image courtesy of A Table For Two: check out his post here

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Coca-Cola cupcakes
30 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/11/2009 12:31:00 am


  • At 5/11/2009 12:58 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    BWHAHAHAHAHA MAH BASIL!!! lol im a mail order bride! and how come there's no shots of you and your fantastically curly purple locks?

  • At 5/11/2009 7:13 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    Loved your coverage of the roti making (didn't realise that there was puffage involved).

    Very comprehensive coverage. A great day, great food and great company :)

  • At 5/11/2009 9:48 am, Blogger einna said…

    Hi Helen!

    Looks very intriguing. How does one get their hands on this miracle fruit?

    On a side note, where could I purchase Mrs Thye's brand of frozen roti? I have tried other varieties and keen on trying this one. Like the fluffing technique! Why didn't I think of that!?

  • At 5/11/2009 9:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    just a tip, the rule is now that the standard taste receptor chart of the tongue should no longer be used. it is now noted that the entire mouth (tongue and gums) are able to taste sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

  • At 5/11/2009 10:06 am, Anonymous Rilsta said…

    Awesome blog you have!

    What a great idea to have a "taste" party to test out the pill! I am surprised that it works... I wonder what would be the practical uses of a pill like that!

    And what a lovely thing to have a foodbloggers gathering!

  • At 5/11/2009 10:15 am, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    Knocking out a set of tastebuds sounds a bit spooky. It's interesting how it affected some people more than others.

  • At 5/11/2009 10:19 am, Anonymous shez said…

    ahh! such fun it was (and ohh such tummy rumblings and grumblings there were following from overconsumption of acidy things)! :)

  • At 5/11/2009 11:09 am, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    I still remember that episode of making roti on Food Safari, "slap it baby! slap it!" to make it fluff and airy. Love your final montage of wigs :)

  • At 5/11/2009 11:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's too funny! A few months ago we did a taste tasting as well! We tried the citrus and other fruits as well as salty and sweet and bitter sauces and anything else we could find that was edible. Some things were exactly the same while others were definitely different. It is neat and interesting.

  • At 5/11/2009 12:21 pm, Blogger Forager said…

    Ooh - there is a lot of media hype isn't there? I'm off to a Merivale event this week for miracle fruit tasting. But I thought they're currently in season. Why the tablets?

    Anyway - looks like heaps of fun! Looking forward to my own flavour trip!

  • At 5/11/2009 2:18 pm, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    LOL Suze and her basil. I think basically every single one of us has a shot of Suze and her mail order bride pose! The pills were fascinating weren't they? And the food was divine. Thanks for your Coke cupcakes :)

  • At 5/11/2009 4:17 pm, Anonymous lindsey clare said…

    oh hooray for miracle fruit! i was served some of this, and various sour fruits as part of the epic molecular gastronomy degustation at the Mandarian Oriental hotel in Tokyo. it was lots of fun, although the effect didn't seem to be as strong for me as it did for others! boo.

    but yeah. i had a feeling this would be the foodie's plaything de jour one day! i am feeling sufficiently ahead of the pack ;)

  • At 5/11/2009 4:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee great coverage of what a fun day ^^!! All the food were yummmm including some of the tasting table (after the frooty hee hee). Thx again for the sushi sushi sushi and cupcakes mmmmm

  • At 5/11/2009 5:41 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    hehe the wigs are hilarious!

  • At 5/11/2009 9:13 pm, Anonymous divemummy said…

    Master Four and Miss Almost Three would love to see your wig - do you think they would still recognise you?

    I should try MFs on Divedude - wonder if he'd eat pawpaw and blue cheese then.

  • At 5/11/2009 10:25 pm, Anonymous Anita said…

    Hahaha, great photos. Sounds like a fun party :P

  • At 5/11/2009 10:52 pm, Anonymous Yas said…

    I'll put a label on her "Handle with care because she's got knives."

    All the women reported it tasting strangely of chocolate sauce.Yup, all the women including MYSELF THANK YOU VERY MUCH! LOL

  • At 5/12/2009 1:57 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chocolatesuze - lol. You do that pose so well! And ha, funnily enough there were no pics of me on my camera :)

    Hi Simon - Oh puffage was crucial. Apparently the hard-core method is to use your hands, but I think I would go with the tong method too!

    Hi Einna - You can order Miracle Frooties here. It's $30 for a packet of ten. I've also included a link to the roti brand and supplier in the post under the pic :)

    Hi Anon - They lied! Thanks for letting me know. Have updated the text accordingly.

    Hi Rilsta - Apparently there is some use for the pill for diabetics, weight control and hospital patients. There's more info on the Wikipedia entry linked above. And yes, a gathering of food bloggers is always fun :)

    Hi Arwen - It was kinda bizarre but lots of fun. You can certainly see why they call it flavour tripping!

    Hi Shez - Oh did you suffer? I was fine, but I was conscious of not eating too much citric acid, unlike Yas! lol

    Hi Billy - Slap it baby? Did they really say that? lol. And yes, wig parties are fun :)

    Hi Anon - It's quite eye-opening isn't it, and I agree, I was interesting to compare tasting notes too.

    Hi Forager - I've seen the promotional material for the Merivale event - it looks like it'll be a great night. The tablets are more stable and do last longer. It sounds like you'll be having tablets at the Merivale event?

    Hi Karen - Oh isn't there a pic of Suze in every one of our posts? lol. And glad you enjoyed the cupcakes - I really need a recipe for your lime brulee tart!

    Hi Lindsey Clare - Yas reported that Miracle Fruit has been available in Japan for some time altho' he too found the effects quite mild at the time.

    It was a fun thing to do, although I don't know that I'd want to repeat it too often. It would be great for when fruit are out of season though, and you really really wanted to taste a super sweet strawberry!

    Hi FFichiban - It was lots of fun and good to hear you enjoyed the sushi and cupcakes!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Novelty wigs are always hilarious. Billy definitely knew how to work his!

    Hi divemummy - lol. I should bring the wig over some time. I expect DD would still smell the blue cheese. Not sure about the paw paw though.

    Hi Anita - Much fun had by all. Glad you enjoyed the post :)

    Hi Yas - Whoops, sorry.I couldn't remember if you tasted the chocolate or not. I will edit it now. Can I make it up to you with some citric acid? lol

  • At 5/12/2009 6:59 am, Anonymous Megan {Feasting on Art} said…

    What fun! You all seem to be such a friendly bunch.

  • At 5/12/2009 9:58 am, Anonymous shez said…

    yes! a fantastic curly purple locks shot would make this post! how 'bout it? ;)

  • At 5/12/2009 10:13 am, Anonymous Veruca Salt said…

    Looks like you guys had helps of fun. The food looks so good especially Mrs Thye curry and Simon's choc mousse. Also loving Choc Suze kitchen.

    Envious of the cream dispenser thing. Dreaming about chucking a sickie, snuggling on the couch, watching crappy TV and periodically dispensing some medicinal cream straight into my mouth. I feel a fever coming on.

  • At 5/12/2009 10:37 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    Yeah, second Shez' suggestion (and no cheating with SP avatar)!

    @Veruca Salt LOL! If you're feeling especially sick, you can pour some chocolate cream into the dispenser and dispense ultra light chocolate mousse. Not that I know first hand... :P

  • At 5/12/2009 11:32 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Hey! Great post! Looks like you enjoyed them. =)

    If you try them again, get some strawberries.... and tequila. They are my favourites.

    Come back for more whenever you like ;) http://miraclefrooties.com.auWhoever is going to the Merivale event... see you there!

    Btw Does the frozen roti really work well? Right now I have to go to Mamak to get my fix...

  • At 5/13/2009 12:32 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    Loved your coke cupcakes, they had a bit of a blast from the past taste (I think it was the coke lolly lol).

    And finally a pic of you on the site (kinda).

  • At 5/13/2009 1:39 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Megan - It was a great day indeed. It's been amazing how many great friends I've made through food blogging :)

    Hi Shez - lol. See above... just for you :)

    Hi Veruca Salt - haha, why can I totally picture you doing just that?

    Hi Simon - Done (altho' I do love the SP avatar pic - how long did you spend creating that!).

    Hi Elliott - I loved the strawberries, but combining it with tequila! Sounds dangerously good!

    Good luck with the Merivale event and yes, frozen roti is apparently what all Malaysian mums use. The Katoomba brand is especially recommended apparently. Perhaps not quite as fluffy as the freshly made version but hey, at least you don't have to queue!

    Hi Howard - Oh you mean it's been that long since you've had a cola lolly? lol. And there's already a pic of me on my About page. Kinda. (and like you can talk! haha)

  • At 5/13/2009 3:14 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    That's an excellent post, really enjoyed reading it.

  • At 5/13/2009 7:20 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    For yours, about 5 mins. It was surprising easy compared to some of the others :)

  • At 5/20/2009 1:05 am, Anonymous DavidPartridge said…

    This experience is great!

    but Why try the tablets when you can try the Plants and the Actual Berries in the Most natural Form.


    Also supplying the Original miracle fruit tablets if you require to store them longer.

  • At 5/20/2009 1:25 pm, Anonymous Jax said…

    Re the edit: ...and I thought we'd get to see what you looked like at last!!

  • At 5/21/2009 12:11 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chris - Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Hi Simon - lol. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing!

    Hi David - Thanks for the info.

    Hi Jax - lol. After you :)


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts