Synsepalum dulcificum, aka "miracle fruit"

Miracle Fruit Makes Sour Taste Sweet

June 02, 2008 12:12 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Eating Synsepalum dulcificum changes taste sensations for up to an hour or more, and has provoked popular flavor-tripping parties across the United States.

30-Second Summary

An article in the New York Times discussed the miracle fruit, a berry known more formally as Synsepalum dulcificum that “rewires the way the palate perceives sour flavors for an hour or so, rendering lemons as sweet as candy.”

So-called flavor-tripping parties are being held in New York, inviting guests to taste various foods, such as tequila and goat cheese, under the influence of this expensive, highly perishable berry.

Bartenders have been experimenting with miracle fruit cocktails, and diabetics have become interested in the fruit’s sugarless sweetening abilities.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it is legal to grow and sell miracle fruit in the U.S., but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow it to be used as an additive in foods.

After being found by French explorer Des Marchais in West Africa in 1725, miracle fruit got “lost in the shuffle of colonialism,” according to Gothamist. Although it was later tried by The U.S. Army and “several pharmaceutical giants,” the miracle fruit was rejected by the FDA in 1974, said the blog.

Miracle fruit can be ordered from private vendors, such as the Miracle Fruit Man, and is also available in powder form from a British purveyor called Miracle UK. Gardeners might consider adding the intriguing plant to their backyard plots.

Headline Links: Prepare your sweet tooth

Background: The specifics of miracle fruit

Related Topics: Miracle fruit books and parties

Reference: Growing and purchasing miracle fruit


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