For those unfamiliar with mberry, it is an extract of an African berry that temporarily changes the way you perceive taste. More to the point, it makes sour and bitter come across as sweet. The practical uses of such a thing might not seem readily apparent, but I have heard that children with cancer take the extract to counter the ill effects that chemotherapy can have on taste and appetite. It makes everything – meats, vegetable, probably rocks – taste like candy. For those kids this fruit must be the “miracle berry” that the marketers claim it is. For a collection of adults trying it for fun on the advice of a Polish woman, it is a decent into the bowels of Tartarus.
The Polish woman began by telling us that it only affected sour or bitter sensations and that the effects only last around an hour. She reassured us that she had done it with friends and that half a pill would be enough. (Just turn on some Allman Brothers and relax, man.) At first it was fun. Lemons tasted like candied tangerines, dill pickles tasted like bread and butter pickle, and red wine tasted like warm simple syrup. Then things began to get ugly. While the crackers stayed crackers, the sausage appetizers were dull. My scotch was identifiably whisky but it had no high or low notes. It could have been whiskey for all I could tell.
I couldn’t tell it from this.
After around forty-five minutes, vinegar and wine still tasted the same and there seemed to be no lessening of the sweetening. This was when that Polish woman started cooking the veal. It smelled amazing. I wanted my sense of taste back. I started to panic. “What if I’m stuck like this?” “What if this never ends?” Others were coming down from it. They were enjoying beer again while I was sipping on lifeless whisky. “Why is dinner cooking?” “Will veal ever taste the same again?”
Thankfully the full brunt of the extract waned by the time dinner was ready. I can’t say that I fully enjoyed the meal, but it smelled like I should have. Verdict: Just say no to recreational mberry. Now for practical joke purposes…