5. Miracle Fruit from Market 17
Fort Lauderdale's Market 17 is known for two things: creative farm-to-table cuisine and dining in the dark. Typically, if someone has just eaten at the popular 17th Street restaurant, she is either grinning from ear to ear, eagerly awaiting the chance to tell you about her experience, or she is casually bragging about what she ate and you didn't. "Really? You haven't had elk tartare?" she'll ask in disbelief, barely disguising her schadenfreude.
Market 17's playful Miracle Fruit dessert is a plate that, although
somewhat gimmicky, gives a diner instant bragging rights. The tiny West
African berry known as miracle fruit contains a protein called miraculin that, when eaten,
temporarily affects the tongue's sweetness receptors. The result: Foods that are normally acidic and sour instead taste sweet.
Eating miracle fruit is quite theatrical. First, the waitress brings
out a small porcelain dish with a single red berry. You are instructed
to eat the flesh of the berry, carefully avoiding the seed. After chewing the tart flesh slowly for couple of minutes, a tray is brought out with an assortment of berries, citrus
fruit, and a small piece of chocolate for you to try.
Lemons taste like
lemonade. Oranges taste like orange marmalade. Snozzberries taste like
snozzberries! It's a marvelous little trick and a fun dish to try in
lieu of a cheesecake or tiramisu. The best part about trying Market 17's miracle fruit plate? The next time your foodie frenemy asks if you've had miracle fruit, you can reply, "Of course!" and wipe that smug little grin right off of her face.
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