Friday, August 14, 2009

Taste Trippin'!!

When I was going to one of my interviews on Wednesday, I walked through the mall at the Yonge & Bloor subway station, the Hudson's Bay Centre. At the time I was wearing uncomfortable shoes so I just walked right through it, but yesterday decided to go back and explore it properly.

It's so easy to get there from here! From the time I lock my door, it takes about four minutes to get on the subway, five minutes to get to that station, and that's it. The mall is in the station. The transit system here really is amazing, even though I don't have it all figured out yet. The subways run every four minutes, so you rarely have to wait for them for more than two. From there you can take a bus or a streetcar, and they come by really frequently as well, at least every ten minutes. Everything runs quickly and seamlessly. When I think of all of my long nights waiting at Lacewood station in Halifax for a bus that only ran once every hour, I'm amazed at how much better the system here is.

When I got to the Hudson's Bay Centre, I found that there were several smaller shopping centres attached to it, so I think I actually ended up exploring three or four malls. Most of the stores were unimpressive, but I did find an H&M, a MAC store, a nice hobby shop and a Fabricland. And of course, the Bay.

I was really happy to find the fabric store. Fabricland is a larger, generic fabric shop unlike the boutique style shops specializing in particular types of fabric that I found on Queen St W last week. If I didn't know better, I'd say it's run by the same company that runs Fabricville in the Maritimes as they use similar signage, have a similar loyalty program, etc. They had so much flannel there! It made me want to make pyjama pants. I didn't buy any though, because I remembered that I still have a couple of projects to do that I already have the materials for and I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

When I got home, I did my chores and then I started looking for something to wear out that night. I found two long denim skirts that I loved once upon a time but hadn't worn in probably four or five years because they were dated now. I tried one on and it was cute as a button but it was a really awkward length (halfway down my calves) that I think was only ever in style for a couple of months. So I decided to bring it up to date by hemming it up to a bit above the knee. I found this method of hemming jeans and it worked like a charm. It preserves the original hem so that you don't get one of those obvious homemade jean hems that look so terrible. I was really impressed with the results.

The skirt looked great when I was done. It's such a good feeling to find something in your closet you once loved and make it into something you can love again. I have to do this with more of my old clothes!

I made a quick supper of boiled corn on the cob and lemon chicken for when John came home, and then went off to a taste trippin' party!

This is something I have wanted to do for at least a year now. I was so excited! At a taste trippin' party you eat something called a Miracle Berry. It has a funny effect on your tongue that makes it so that everything sour tastes sweet for the next hour. I've been dying to know if it really works.

So we headed over to the Drake Hotel on Queen St W and were each presented with a berry in a shot glass and a sheet of instructions.
You put the berry in your mouth, remove the skin and pulp and let the seed rest on your tongue for two minutes. Spit it out, and two minutes later you're ready to go!

They had all kinds of foods to try. There were lemons, limes, oranges, sour soothers, pickles, cheeses, brussel sprouts, mustards and apple cider vinegar to drink. This had better work!

The lemons and limes tasted just like candy! I was amazed! The flavour of the limes was indistinguishable from sweetened limeade. The oranges were so sweet that I actually didn't care for them. Here's a picture of John sucking on a lemon. He normally has no tolerance for sour food so he was pretty excited too.Next I tried one of the pickles and a creamy cheese. I was disappointed to find that the restaurant had provided us with sweet gherkins and feta cheese, I wanted something with bite! Later I found out that they were in fact very, very sour pickles and sharp goat cheese, it was just that under the influence of the miracle berry, I honestly couldn't tell!

There was a gruyere cheese that tasted normal, the berry didn't seem to affect it. The sour soothers just tasted like regular candy, say Swedish berries. The mustards were intensified in flavour. I could barely eat them they were so strong! The brussel sprouts were delicious! They just tasted like yummy raw vegetable with none of the bitterness that makes uncooked brussel sprouts generally so unpalatable. And the vinegar had such a pleasant taste, unlike anything I've ever tasted before. John couldn't get enough of it.

The experience lasted about 20 or 25 minutes before it started to wear off. It lingered for about an hour after that, so the lemon wedges went from tasting like sweet candy to tasting like sour candy to tasting like sour lemons.

Here's a picture of the tasting area:
It was so packed, you could barely move. There was also a film crew there from The National trying to capture everyone's reactions. Here are our friends that came with us, Wanda and Bryan:

Afterwards we walked down the street to a bar called the Brooklyn for some drinks. They all tasted funny because of the berry. I had a cosmo and all I could taste was the vodka at first because the berry took away all of the bite of the lime and the cranberry. John's beer was sweet and delicious and without the bitter aftertaste. As time went on though and the berry wore of I realized it was actually a really well made cosmo and I actually didn't like John's beer after all.

On the way home we stopped so John could get a shwarma at a place down the street from us, came home and went to bed.

It was a really fun night. The fact that there are always cool events going on all over the city is something I'm really starting to love about Toronto.

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