Thanks to a tiny miracle fruit, I was hopping around the kitchen, laughing out loud. No, not the text-speak hyperbole, but real, honest-to-goodness chortling. After several years of diligent gardening, my little miracle fruit plant yielded a few ripe berries, and the moment finally arrived to sample their flavor-shifting effects. Ingesting miracle fruit makes everything else taste sweet (for about 20 minutes).
To test the berry’s impact, I lined up an array of decidedly non-sweet items (pickle brine, limes, beer, sparkling mineral water, guacamole, black olives) and plain water as a control. The miracle fruit’s taste and texture reminded me of a blueberry: thick, slightly astringent skin surrounding a clear to whitish, barely tangy, juicy pulp. A large seed, perhaps 40% the size of the fruit, lay at the center of the berry.
The flavor-shifting sensations took a few seconds to develop. Plain water still tasted like plain water. But a second or two later, a simple bite into a lime section became hysterically funny: it tasted like super-sweet limeade, or a delicious new exotic fruit. Ditto for the pickles and pickle brine–my super-sour kosher dills turned into sweet bread and butter slices, only with garlicky overtones. On to the black olives–definitely NOT a winner, as sweet black olives are pretty repulsive. They lost none of their oily, bitter nuances, but gained an overwhelming saccharine layer. Beer was also quite odd and not particularly pleasant. Guacamole, on the other hand, was entirely edible and pleasant.
The flavor-shifting effects lasted about 10 minutes. Plain water continued to taste like water.
Hopefully, my miracle fruit output will continue to increase. The plant is blooming right now and is growing vigorously, so maybe I’ll have several dozen berries to try at my next sampling….
It really was….I’m hoping my little plant becomes more productive so I can share the experience.
That is so fun! I’ve never heard of miracle fruit before, so this is completely fascinating. Now I’ll be on the lookout for more information. Very cool!
what is the plant called? where did you get it?
It is called miracle fruit or miracle berry….I wrote about it earlier this summer: https://bouillie.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/miracle-fruit-at-long-last/
Synsepalum dulcificum is the botanical name. I think my plant was purchased from Top Tropicals in Florida: http://www.toptropicals.com/
It has taken several years of careful tending to yield any berries; it spends all winter indoors, near a brightly lit window, then it moves to bright shade (aka high, shifting shade). Flowers are tiny, brownish-white, and in small clusters near the end of each branch.
Are you trying to germinate the seeds, HC?
No, I tossed the seed. It’s a seriously tropical plant; I understand that it has low germination rates.
That is crazy! I have never heard of it but wow! My wife thought I was pulling her leg when I told her about it.