How long till we're flavor trippin' in Cleveland?


People who experimented with synsepalum dulcificum in the '70s say they occasionally experience flashbacks that make pepperoni pizza taste like a chocolate milk.
It’s just like we suspected: Somebody – in this case, a crew of way-too-hip-looking New Yorkers – is having way more fun than we are. Our confirmation comes via a recent story in the New York Times, touting the joys of “flavor tripping.” Said tripping appears to take place at trendy parties – we don’t see any tank tops or beer bongs in the photos -- where guests indulge their taste for “miracle fruits” (synsepalum dulcificum), tiny red berries that trick the tastebuds into thinking that beer tastes like chocolate and vinegar tastes like apple juice. ... According to the Times, the berry “is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the 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.” The effects last for about an hour. Health officials say the pastime is harmless, although making beer taste like anything but beer sounds quite painful. The berries, mainly available to chefs, cost more than two dollars each, so flavor tripping parties generally carry a modest price tag. Still, we can’t imagine most Cleveland foodies would mind dropping 15 bucks or so to experience limes that taste like candy and chevre that mimics cheesecake. Hell, that’s still cheaper than most wine tastings, and far more trendy. How about it, Cleveland chefs? Any of you game for ordering a few dozen berries and throwing a party? If so, shoot me an email, and let’s see what we can come up with. -- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at


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