thymidinekinase: An internally illuminated pumpkin carved to resemble a Dalek (Default)
[personal profile] thymidinekinase
Flavor-tripping party Nov 28, 2008
One hour after dinner

Objects - 1. to explore the effects of the "Miracle Berry"; 2. to determine its utility in helping me eat my veggies

Hypothesis - sour and bitter things will taste sweeter

Experimental details and observations:
Pre-tablet "control" tasting 19:00
1. Icebreaker sours - taste both sweet and tart
2. Granny Smith apple - tart, sweet, not as tart as I remember from childhood
3. Baking chocolate - waxy and somewhat bitter
4. lime - sour, limey
5. lemon - very sour, lemony
6. cranberry - sour, astringent
7. sour cream - mildly sour

Dissolved one Miracle Berry tablet (from Thinkgeek.com) on tongue - a bit tart, slightly sweet, slightly chalky
19:05

Experimental tasting

1. Cranberry - delicious -sweet and tangy, like cran-apple
2. baking chocolate - still nasty and bitter. No sweetness.
3. lime still really tart, but now really, really sweet. Like limeade concentrate.
4. Apple - like apple-flavored candy
5. lemon - like perfect, slightly too strong lemonade. The tartness hits hard, more as a perception in the throat and the sinuses than as an actual flavor
6. sour cream - tastes like sweet, bland yogurt. Dad and Nonwicked-stepmom say it tastes like cheesecake
7. absinthe - still disgusting!

Had another cranberry - seemed more sour - so I had another half-tablet of miracle berry at 19:20

8. broccoli - yuk! Still tastes like broccoli. Too bad, I've always hated broccoli and was looking for a way to improve it

Had another cranberry - tastes sweet again, but the *sensation* of sourness is very strong.

9. Unsweetened rice vinegar - super-sweet and super-tangy on the throat
10. Brussell sprout - UGH! Still a sprout.
11. Icebreaker sour - just tastes sweet and fruity
12. red wine vinegar - sweet and tart and very, very strong
13. red wine (Malbec, nominally dry) - astringent yet slightly sweet. Weird. Not like Manischevitz.
14. tabasco sauce - hot, but oh-so-sweet

Cranberry again - tastes sweet and slightly tangy, but I feel the "sour" reactions in my head without experiencing much sour taste. So weird!

19:40 I feel a bit congested/drunk. Kid-brother feels nauseated. Gosh, I wonder why.
Lemon still sweet, sour cream tastes less sweet than before.

19:50 Lemon still sweet, but the tartness is becoming more perceptible.

20:00 Lemon has some sweetness still, but tartness is now stronger than sweetness

Analysis and results:
1. Bitter foods are unaffected.
2. Sour foods are made to taste sweet. There is some evidence that the sweetness is in proportion to the acidity and not the original sugar content.
3. The effect lasts at least 15 minutes, with some lingering effect at least 40 minutes later.
4. The throat is lined with sensitive tissue that does not like being coated with acids.

Conclusions:
1. This will not help me eat my veggies
2. I am a giant nerd
3. This was fun and I will probably do it again.

Date: 2008-11-29 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] catsittingstill.livejournal.com
Sounds cool. :-) Pity about the broccoli and the brussel sprout.

Date: 2008-11-29 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] omegix.livejournal.com

we did this after thanksgiving dinner too :)

Date: 2008-11-29 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baudot.livejournal.com
Regarding absinthe: You're not taking it straight, are you? It's meant to be diluted with 2 to 5 parts water, and a cube or two of sugar per shot, optionally served on ice. The Czech have spread some nonsense about setting it on fire, and drinking it straight, and generally make a pretty crappy version of it, overall. If you can find Ricard (a pastis, not an absinthe, actually) I recommend it. St George's absinthe is the first American variety sold legally since prohibition, and is also quite good.

Regarding brussel sprouts: Here's my favorite recipe:
Clean, cut off bottoms, and boil for 8 or 9 minutes.
Chop coarsely (2 chops per sprout, or so - enough that they fall apart when stirred.)
Stir fry with toasted sesame oil and caramelized onion.
Add bean sprouts at the last minute - just enough to heat them but keep them crisp.

Date: 2008-11-29 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thymidinekinase.livejournal.com
This was ~1cc of straight-up "Lucid". This was unusual for me -- since I don't like licorice/anise/fennel flavor much, I generally only drink absinthe well-diluted with sprite, when I drink it at all, but it was a spur of the moment thing.

It's funny, that's almost the same preparation my cook friend quoted me when I told him I hated brussel sprouts. I once had an endive prepared in a similar fashion and found it still too bitter, so I'm pessimistic that it'll help with brussel sprouts. Might be good with cabbage, though!

Date: 2008-11-30 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com
Heh. My vague recollection was that bitterness was not affected, so things like coffee and beer would be largely unchanged.

Does broccoli taste bitter to you? There is very little bitterness for me, which is lucky, because I don't like strong bitter flavors.

Do you like spinach? Have you ever tried water spinach (the Chinese name means "hollow heart")? What about snow pea shoots (sometimes call snow pea greens in the restaurants here)? These are some of my favorite veggies.

I think I need to have a miracle party....

Date: 2008-11-30 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thymidinekinase.livejournal.com
I find broccoli to be quite bitter, but edible if served cold and raw with lots of sweet vinegar ("broccoli slaw") or cooked in sweetened liquid. Brussel sprouts are bitter^2, I have never been able to choke down more than a bite or two.

I like spinach very much, actually. I don't think I've had water spinach, but I'll keep an eye out. I had snow pea shoots once as a salad, I believe; very pleasant and mild.

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