Tag Archives: miracle berry

The Miracle Fruit, and where to get it.

30 May

This is amazing. I had not heard of this until today, when my mother sent me an email linking to a Slashfood and NYT article. There is a miracle fruit (berry) that can totally change the way your taste buds register sour foods.

According to Wikipedia, “”when the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule [miraculin] binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours.”

A dinner party in Queens used this fruit to “flavor trip” into drinking beer that tasted like chocolate, tabasco sauce like doughnut glaze, and lemons like candy! (check out the video here) The host of the party, Franz Aliquo, gave each guest one berry in exchange for a $15 entrance fee. Then the guests proceeded to test dozens of foods and beverages to see what kind of change the berry had on their taste buds.

The NYT article goes on to explain, “The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. During the 1970s, a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration dashed hopes that an extract of miraculin could be sold as a sugar substitute. In the absence of any plausible commercial application, the miracle fruit has acquired a bit of a cult following.”

And there is good news, you can purchase the miracle berries and try them for yourself! They are a bit expensive, but I think it is a must to at least experience this natural phenomenon. Here is some advice from Franz on how to enjoy:

“He believes that the best way to encounter the fruit is in a group. ‘You need other people to benchmark the experience,’ he said. At his first party, a small gathering at his apartment in January, guests murmured with delight as they tasted citrus wedges and goat cheese. Then things got trippy.

‘You kept hearing ‘oh, oh, oh,’ ‘ he said, and then the guests became ‘literally like wild animals, tearing apart everything on the table.’

‘It was like no holds barred in terms of what people would try to eat, so they opened my fridge and started downing Tabasco and maple syrup,’ he said.”

You can buy them from Franz here. 

And you can also buy them here. And here from a Florida grower.