The berries from the Synsepalum dulcificum, more commonly known as the miracle fruit plant, have an extraordinary affect on your taste buds: for a period of 15 minutes to one hour after eating them, sour things taste sweet. Its low sugar content and ability to 'trick' taste buds into thinking you're eating sweet food has raised hopes for potential health applications.
After eating a miracle fruit berry, the humble lemon is transformed from a bitter mouth-puckerer into a fabulous fruit that can be savored alone, with a flavor similar to lemonade but with none of its typical unhealthy, sugary additives. Oranges are also enhanced, with the Spanish blood orange in particular exhibiting a deep, sweet flavor.
The Daily Mail in the UK wrote: "Sinking my teeth into a lemon, I braced to wince at the sour, citric tang that would inevitably attack my taste buds. But, almost unbelievably, there wasn't a hint of bitterness. The acidic fruit tasted as sweet as lemon meringue pie."
The miracle berry also has a marked effect on the taste of grapefruits, which can often have a fairly sour flavor, as they become much sweeter and easier to enjoy. Strawberries take on the characteristics of sugar-frosted strawberries; such is the savor of sweet decadence you get from them.
Try cherries in the aftermath of eating a miracle berry---they taste like a frosted fruit dessert.
Eating dairy products after consuming a miracle berry can also be quite a surprise. In much the same way as with sugar and other additives you can turn plain dairy products into a delicious milkshake, the miracle berry can transfigure simple cheeses into exotic sweet treats. Goat's cheese takes on the properties of frosting. Blue cheese becomes sweet and creamy and loses the pungent, moldy flavor that can sometimes characterize it; cream cheese will make you believe you've stumbled upon the perfect cheesecake mix.
It isn't just foods whose taste the miracle fruit can perceptibly change. As the berry rewires the taste buds, it can work its magic just as powerfully on booze. The thick, acrid, stout flavor of Guinness is utterly changed. According to one taster's account in the New York Times, paraphrased: "...Drop a large dollop of lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness, stir, drink and it tastes like a chocolate shake."
For so long a despised foodstuff---but not any more---eat broccoli after a miracle fruit, and the much-maligned vegetable tastes very sweet, almost candy-like.
Obviously you would never consider chugging vinegar, but that becomes quite tempting when vinegar actually starts to taste like treacle--as it does after a miracle berry.
- Photo Credit berries image by PeteG from Fotolia.com
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