Best potluck ever and a taste tripping party to boot!

I knew I was in for some good eats when I was invited to a potluck dinner party at A Canadian Foodie‘s gorgeous house (a.k.a Valerie), and then I found out that over 30 foodies and bloggers were invited. And when I found out that part of the evening includes a chance to try the miracle berry, well let’s just say that there was nothing short of the plague that was going to keep me away.

I started off trying to take nice photos but then I eventually gave up and took half-hearted, slightly blurry ones instead. There were lots of other people with better photos though, so don’t worry I’m sure there will be more popping up on blogs soon! I’m linking to recipes and blogs as much as possible but there were so many people there that it’s inevitable that I will miss some.

Valerie and her husband Vanja are great hosts and they made me feel welcome as soon as I stepped into their home. I thought I was going to arrive a little bit late but people were just starting to arrive when I got there. Valerie was prepared – name tags for all of us as well as tags for all our dishes!

potluck signs

potluck signs

more potluck signs

more potluck signs

Look at the dish names; this wasn’t just any old potluck! When foodies bring food (even “simple dishes” like we were instructed), we go all out.

Moose tongue and homemade saskatoon wine

Moose tongue and homemade saskatoon wine

Two different cuts of smoked moose tongue and homemade saskatoon wine by the talented Kevin Kossowan. Tasted like a heavily smoked ham and was delish. I think I preferred the texture of the back section of the tongue more though (dish on the left).

kefta, prosciutto and fig crostini, and tzaziki

kefta, prosciutto and fig crostini, and tzaziki

Kefta from XOX Lea Lea, prosciutto and fig crostini, and tzaziki from Take it and Like it.

OMG so much food!

OMG so much food!

Then so many people started to arrive all at once and I gave up trying to take photos of everyone’s dishes. Just look at that bounty! My mouth waters just thinking about all the yummy dishes. Yes, someone brought a rice cooker. And someone else brought a tagine! I’m glad Valerie let me borrow one of her dishes to plate my dessert, cause I think my plastic Ziploc container wouldn’t have looked nearly as impressive.

Once everyone was stuffed, I passed around my pandan agar agar dessert. Good thing I cut them into small pieces because I think most people forgot about dessert and the rest of the food to come. There were a few suspicious looks at my little jellies (maybe because of an unfamiliarity with pandan and the green colour), but I made sure to let people know about the coconut before they tried it. (By the way, there was a typo on my recipe but it’s been corrected on my blog post.)

miracle berries

miracle berries

The after dinner entertainment consisted of everyone joining in on a food experiment. Miracle berries are small, red fruit that will change the way your taste buds react to food. There’s an interesting little interview over on Democracy Now of the author of The Fruit Hunters (a book I recently picked up), and it includes a bit about the politics around the miracle berry.

miracle berry tablet

miracle berry tablet

Feeling a bit like we were all at a 60s party being offered LSD, quite a few of us popped tablets made of freeze dried miracle fruit. I stuck mine on my tongue and let the chalky and slightly sweet tablet slowly dissolve. A full tablet is supposed to last for about a half an hour to an hour, unless you drink liquids that will wash away the miraculin (the protein that the berry leaves on your taste buds).

taste tripping temptations

taste tripping temptations

Val set up a smorgasbord of flavours – salty, sweet, sour, spicy and bitter. The experimenters loaded our plates and began to nibble. And started to excitedly share our experiences.

a few of the flavours I tried

a few of the flavours I tried

For me, the biggest revelation of the night was the lemon. The best description I can give is that it was like taking a bite of citrus fruit that tasted like perfectly sweetened lemonade. It was so good that I had two slices! Sweet foods, to me, were often muted in flavour and a lot of them became bland tasting. Here are a few other things that I noticed:

  • sour cream – tasted like whipped cream
  • dark chocolate – the miracle berry brought out all the bitter notes of the chocolate and made them stronger tasting
  • applewood smoked cheddar – tasted so much like mold that I spit it out
  • gorganzola cheese – I never usually eat this by itself because I find blue cheese too strong, but the berry made the taste mild with just a hint of blue
  • strawberries – tasted like super sweet garden grown wild strawberries
  • fresh pineapple – the acidic bite was taken away, which I actually didn’t like but some people loved it
  • V8 juice – sweet tomato juice
  • Guinness – tasted like water that was very lightly flavoured with beer
  • raw garlic – the berry amplified the harsh taste
  • Sriracha hot sauce – I nearly burned my mouth off due to the strengthening effect from the berry
taste tripping cheese

taste tripping cheese

To top off the evening, Val brought out two giant pavolvas that she had whipped off earlier. Crunchy, creamy and sugary – it made for a great way to end the evening. And of course I just had to put in at least one photo of someone else taking photos (LeQuan from luvtoeat)!

pavlovas and LeQuan

pavlovas and LeQuan

It was lovely to meet so many of you – both people whose blogs that I’ve been reading for a while and people who are brand new to me. I only got to talk to some of you briefly and some of you for longer, but it was all great.

Thank you again to Valerie and Vanja who were so kind to bring us all together and also went out of their way to give us a small recipe book of all the dishes we had that night.

A lot of people are posting their recipes on their site, so if you’re curious I highly recommend checking out their blogs. The attending bloggers and food lovers (and their significant others and friends), in no specific order whatsoever, were:

(If I missed you please let me know!)

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Best potluck ever and a taste tripping party to boot!

  1. This post is the second one I am reading about Valerie’s party.

    I am telling you, I was on the invite list, but of course I was ” too busy” in YYC.

    Now I am kicking myself a lot. What a party!

  2. What a great post. I will go to the link and read about the controversy. I really appreciated your comments on the effects of the berry as we didn’t talk about that too much through the evening. It is funny to see such a short list of bloggers when there were 6 more on it until the day before. But, it was a GREAT start to something big. It is my goal to put Edmonton Foodies on the MAP. And I a actually going to work at doing just that. We have so much to offer one another, and others! I had such a good time and so did Vanja… a little unusual as he usually has a “nice” time.
    Xo
    Valerie

  3. Great post Ms. Brûlée 😉 It was great to finally meet you! I didn’t even notice you taking that picture of me lol.

    I’m glad you wrote about your taste tripping samples as I was unable to try everything that Valerie had put out. Very interesting to hear your descriptions. I forgot to try the hot sauce but am now glad I didn’t. Teehee. What a great party eh?

  4. It was great to finally meet you as your blog is one of the few I visit on a regular basis! I absolutely loved your pandan agar agar — it really tasted exactly like a restaurant offering, and of course, I loved the flowery mold you put it in. It’s funny, but even though I’m Asian, I don’t make very many Asian or even Filipino desserts. I’ve had a recipe for bibingka (a filipino delicacy) in my pantry for a long time but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. One day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s