The Miracle Berry.
Whatever its name, when taken, it alters your taste perception.
And I received some for Christmas from my blog buddy, Bren.
Don’t worry, it’s totally legal.
We have had several conversations over the years about the berry of Synsepalum dulcificum, which contains miraculin, a glycoprotein which bonds to your taste buds and makes sour foods appear sweet.
Needless to say, we were both curious to try it.
You can chew on the berry itself, or as in this case, a tablet made from miracle fruit powder.
So-called “flavor tripping” parties came into vogue a couple of years back, where participants would ingest the miracle fruit and then snack on a variety of sour and/or bitter foods and beverages.
Last week, Bren and I had our own flavor tripping party.
We cut up a variety of sour fruits (pomegranate, ruby red grapefruit, lemon, lime, kiwi and tangerine), cheeses (a pair of goat cheeses, bleu cheese, and Dubliner cheese), some plain Greek yogurt, broccoli and, just for fun, some apple cider vinegar.
We each took a tablet and dissolved it onto our tongues.
What follows is our tasting notes:
Orange Windmill Cablanca goat cheese
Me: Totally creamy, with very little bite.
Bren: Mild, creamy, with a hint of sweetness.
Me: Tasted just like cheesecake or a thick cream cheese frosting. Yum!
Bren: Sweet, creamy, rich, indulgent.
Me: Just like candy. Delicious.
Bren: Bright, juicy, sweet! Very good.
Me: Almost too sweet.
Bren: Flavor explosion, really sweet, no tartness. My personal favorite!
Me: You can feel the acid burning your mouth, but you can’t taste the bitterness at all.
Bren: Mouth puckers, but lacks the sour kick. Plenty sweet, leaves a lingering taste on the tongue.
Me: Really delicious. Probably my favorite so far.
Bren: Isn’t as strong as the lemon, but still puckers the mouth.
Apple cider vinegar
Me: Deliciously sweet on your tongue, but disgusting going down your throat. Gag!
Bren: NO. Esophagus burning, eyes watering. THIS IS NOT A TASTE TREAT.
Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
Me: The least changed. Perhaps just the edge was taken off the usual sharpness.
Bren: Not a whole lot of change.
Me: Ew. I still hate broccoli. Could the miracle fruit make something taste even worse?
Bren: Somehow tastes like broccoli and not. Not sweet at all.
Me: Strangely, it muted the flavor of the fruit.
Bren: Everything which makes a tangerine delicious has been sapped by the miracle berry treatment. It’s sweet but rather bland.
Plain Greek yogurt
Me: Completely removes any of the tartness. Very creamy and delicious.
Bren: This stuff is awesome. Creamy, sweet!
Me: Sweeter than usual, just to the edge of being unbearably so.
Bren: Not so great, way too sweet.
Me: Still tastes like blue cheese, but the tanginess has been muted.
Bren: A lot of the tang is gone, but still somehow remains blue-cheesy without getting sweet.
Ruby red grapefruit
Me: I don’t know if the effect was starting to wear off, but it still tasted bitter to me.
Bren: Sweet, edge of bitter, but mostly good.
All in all, the effect lasted for about half an hour.
Things we didn’t try this go-round include dark beer, pineapple, pickles, Granny Smith apples, hot sauce and cheap tequila.
Perhaps next time. There’s still eight tablets left.
If you’re curious to try the miracle berry for yourself, both the fruit and tablet are readily available online, for about $1.50 per tablet or $2 per berry.