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CLIF Blog

Nov. 30, 2005
Everlasting Gobstopper Flower
This morning, I had the most interesting taste experience ever! I chewed up a dried flower bud from the Spilanthes plant and BANG! all these crazy flavors and feelings came flooding into my mouth.

I'll try to describe what I tasted, although, I don't know how easily I can do that...

It begins very blandly, like chewing on tough dried plant fibers. Slowly, a strong bitter flavor builds that suddenly is the most bitter and sour flavor I have ever tasted. It quickly morphs from bitter to a peppery/spicy flavor, at which point I ran to the sink and spit the chewed plant mass out.

The sensation continues to evolve in my mouth, becoming extremely salty and causing intense salivation. The salivation continues for quite some time, unlike anything I have ever experienced, and then it gets even more strange.

There becomes an odd sense of "bubbling," as though my saliva is carbonated. The bubbling sensation is very strong, maybe what it's like to put an Alka-Seltzer in your mouth; it's almost vibrating. During this time, the salty taste slowly fades into a slightly sweet flavor.

Instinctively, I started to rinse my mouth with water, however, this seems to intensify the feeling. As the experience begins to subside, a stinging feeling is left around the edges of my mouth. The extreme salivation continues for a little while until finally, it's all just gone!

Boy, I'm sure glad I did not turn into a giant blueberry!

Later on, several other people tasted it to see for themselves. As Randy Erickson put it, "It's like putting a 9-volt battery in your mouth!"

Seriously though, the Spilanthes flowers are used in traditional herbal medicine as a toothache remedy because it numbs the mouth. The leaves are milder and even used as a culinary spice!

For more information, check out this website.
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Category:
From the Kitchen
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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