PlantTherapy: Miracle Fruit - Redecorate Your Tastebuds

PlantTherapy: Miracle Fruit - Redecorate Your Tastebuds

Sep 22, 2007

My reaction/confusion after eating a miracle fruit and then being given a key lime to taste... (video is 1 min. 30 sec.)

Many people enjoy growing edible plants indoors, and you probably know someone who has at one time offered you some basil or a tomato from their windowsill plants. If anyone ever offers you a berry from a miracle plant, however, you will never forget the experience. Byron (of Logee's), with a look of mischief in his eyes, took advantage of my having never before heard of the miracle fruit...

After plucking a berry and having me eat it he then handed me a SUPER sour-smelling lime. You can see my confusion in the video above or read about it here.

While I expected the lime's sour taste, it never came. I had that sensation when one thinks they are sipping coffee but instead get a sip of Pepsi. The lime was so flavorful and sweet, though, I popped the whole wedge in my mouth like popcorn after the initial shock wore off.

It turns out the berry has a protein in it called miraculin, which masks your ability to taste sour foods, resulting in a very sweet flavor. A sour lime, pickles, bitter ale. All become sweet. The effects of the one berry can last up to half an hour.

This plant can be grown indoors and is happy being grown in a pot, but it does need a good amount of sun to be happy. It was featured along with Byron on the Martha Stewart show earlier this year and will even be the subject of a forthcoming book. The more I looked on the web for information, the more interesting the story of this plant became. There are special cafes in Japan that sell foods with modified recipes to only become sweet after ingesting this berry. And if the accounts on the web are true, this berry was also at one time poised to topple the sugar market.

matt at apartment therapy dot com (and my apologies to Byron's forehead, which somehow only barely makes it into the video footage)

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