Flavor Tripping Potluck Parties Sweepin' the Globe
Miracle Fruit. Wonder Berries. Sweet Berries. Whatever you call em, they’ve become a hot commodity at “flavor tripping parties” in major markets. The names refer to a kind of fruit found in West Africa with a molecule called miraculin that, when consumed, binds to the taste buds on your tongue and causes foods to taste sweet for a period of 15 minutes to an hour. These unique consumables are, unfortunately, quite expensive to get in the U.S. because of the shipping and shelf life (about three days). But people who manage to get 25 to 50 people together will order them in bulk for about $2 a berry, plan a big old potluck “tasting party,” have participants bite the berries and swirl the juices in their mouth, and ultimately gorge themselves for an hour to see how things taste. (I’m told Guinness tastes like chocolate milk, vinegar is apple juice, and goat cheese is cheesecake, for instance.) Web companies sell them at rates of $90 for 30 berries with overnight shipping, while others have caught on to the trend and made “miracle berry tablets” (that may or may not be a scam). There’s nothing to indicate any legal problems with these parties, and if someone throws one, we expect to know about it and/or get an invite.