December 28, 2009

The flavor trip

Yeah, yeah, we didn't do an update on our Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts, get over it. There was turkey, porchetta, potatoes, all that stuff. Free range organic turkeys are totally worth it.

This post is not really about Thanksgiving, though. This post is about our Christmas evening flavor trip.

Lauren is a gifting mastermind. I had no idea what she meant when she said I was going to be a co-conspirator "the experience" of Emily's gift. Also: best gift reveal ever. First out of the bag was a container of sour cherry syrup, followed by random fruits, then a packet of chocolate, a jar of salsa verde accompanied by a bag of tortilla chips, and a box of sour candies...and finally at the bottom of the bag were the Miracle Berry tablets. Surprise, flavor trip time! Kept us guessing to the end.

So we set up shop on the living room floor and proceeded to flavor trip. We followed the instructions on the box of Miracle Berry tablets (dissolve 1 tablet in mouth, coat tongue all over). We each picked up a slice of lemon and I swear we collectively held our breath before I bit into mine.

I think I said "Holy shit." (Merry Christmas)

And then I proceeded to devour the lemon wedge and sample everything else we had. We all dug in. It was by far the trippiest thing I've ever experienced. I will attempt to tabulate a list.

Super Awesome

Lemons - taste sweet and tart and lemony like the most delicious lemonade. Mind-blowingly good. You can still feel the acid on your lips so it's kind of like sticking your tongue to a battery.
Limes - likewise. There seemed to be a saturation point beyond which additional acid was able to overcome the effects of the miracle berry.
Mandarins - taste like CANDY
Sour cherry syrup - became tart instead of puckeringly sour; deep, rich cherry flavors came forward.
Cranberries - taste like cranberry jelly

Good but Weird

Granny Smith apples - without their tartness, they turn into boring regular apple flavor
Pink Lady apples - not much different, just sweet.
Grapefruit - not as sour
Blackberries - closer to what wild blackberries are like, kind of hard to tell since they weren't in season.
Salsa verde - bizarrely sweet, like a mango or pineapple salsa. Really weird.
Roma tomato - became peach-like, but with the tomato's herbal notes. Also really weird.
Shockers candy - not horribly sour!

Not so Good

Guinness - the edge is gone, thus negating the point of drinking Guinness.
100% cacao chocolate pastilles - still horribly bitter!

I went back for seconds on the lemon and lime, they were so tasty. The effects seemed to wear off around the 30-minute mark, which was fine by us. The Miracle Berry package said it might last up to one hour, but we were eating throughout so that probably stripped the compound from our tongues faster.
We had antacid on hand to neutralize the obscene amounts of acid we were consuming; I recommend that approach to any who want to follow in our footsteps.

December 4, 2009

You're Old

Birthday Not A Cake

I made a croquembouche for Emily's birthday. The candles were supplied by friend Lauren. I made 2 flavors of pastry cream filling: Turkish coffee and vanilla + orange blossom. This was my first time doing such intensive sugar work, and let me tell you spun sugar is very messy and fiddly, but so pretty in the end.

Emily is not actually old. Yet.