So You're Supposed to Eat Those Magic Berries?

EFN Lounge holds another night of flavor tripping

By Anna Tuman
|  Thursday, Mar 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 AM EDT
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So You're Supposed to Eat Those Magic Berries?

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Om nom nom.

Where can you go to slurp a Guinness that tastes like a chocolate milkshake, mustard that tastes like caramel, or lemon wedges that taste like candy canes? No, not Willie Wonka’s factory, but EFN Lounge (1318 9th St. N.W.) next Friday, March 12 for flavor tripping.

Flavor tripping is exactly what it sounds like, a culinary adventure that puts eating thousand-year-old eggs to shame. But don’t be fooled by the "tripping" part of the name -- it's 100 percent legal, and 100 percent awesome. Think of it as the rebel foodies' way of acting out. (Hey, even us food dorks need our escape every now and then...)

Participants suck on a Synsepalum Dulcificum berry (also known as trippy fruit or miracle fruit). The point is to fully coat their taste buds with a protein called miraculin, the magical stuff found in this weird berry native to West Africa.

After a good long while of sucking and mashing the somewhat bitter trippy fruit, the real fun happens. Trippers eat random foods from the "Tripeteria," EFN Lounge's all-you-can-trip buffet, specially crafted for tripping purposes. You’ll have access to lemon wedges, goat cheese and bottom-shelf tequila.

Hold up, crappy tequila shots and goat cheese chasers?! We know what you're thinking... gross! But, it's not! Here’s why: The protein reacts in such a way with your taste buds that things start to taste... different.

Sour things become sweet, sweet things become even sweeter, and some tastes are just unaffected. The effect is nothing short of an "oompa-dee-do, I've got another riddle for you" amazing time.

EFN Lounge is home to flavor tripping on the second Friday of every month between 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance for $12, or at the door (in limited quantities) for $15.

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