Miracle Fruit Party Fools Taste Buds and Guests

comments (4) February 15th, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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The berries of the Miracle Fruit plant have the ability to turn sour foods sweet. 
Jennifer Hansens young son Max and other guests at her Miracle Fruit tasting party, react to the surprise of sour foods that suddenly taste sweet.
The berries of the Miracle Fruit plant have the ability to turn sour foods sweet. Click To Enlarge

The berries of the Miracle Fruit plant have the ability to turn sour foods sweet. 

Photo: Jennifer Hansen

At a recent tasting party at her home in Jupiter, Fla., Jennifer Hansen surprised her family and friends with something unexpected. The sour flavors of lemons, limes and vinegar-based hot sauces turned amazingly sweet.

That's because everyone first ate the ripe-red berries from a Miracle Fruit plant.

"People don't eat the Miracle Fruit for how it tastes," she says. "They eat it for how it makes other things taste."

Synsepalum dulcificum is called the Miracle Fruit or Miracle Berry for a reason. The plant, native to West Africa, grows berries that contain a glycoprotein called miraculin. This substance has a way of binding to the taste buds causing sour foods to taste sweet for a short amount of time.

"When your taste buds are under the influence of Miracle Fruits, sour foods like limes and lemons are freaking amazing," Jennifer says. "The depth and brightness of their flavor is just unparalleled, like one of the best things I have ever tasted."

She says other fun foods to try are vinegary hot sauces, like Cholula or Tabasco, or even straight vinegar. At her party she also offered kombucha, salt and vinegar potato chips, and blueberries.

"It's a really fun thing to do with kids. And with adults, it brings out the kids in them! We are so sure of how things taste, but this fruit makes tasting foods to which we have grown accustomed an exciting new experience."

In addition to being a Florida master gardener, Jennifer is a knit and crochet designer known as the StitchDiva, and she also teaches crochet classes on Craftsy.com. Her interest in gardening started while traveling the tropics. 

As a fairly new Florida gardener she's experimenting with growing vegetables in a raised bed garden, but also planting trees with fruits that are hard to find and plants that are difficult to grow, like the black bat flower (Tacca chantrieri).

She purchased her Miracle Fruit plant only a few months ago and the berries were ready to party with at the end of December. 

While tasting parties of homegrown fruits and vegetables can be fun, the Miracle Fruit has another purpose, too.

Jennifer says the berries are used to improve the taste of foods for chemotherapy patients and to help people with diabetes enjoy something sweet without any sugar.

posted in: fruit

Comments (4)

Rewerpame writes: Thanks Jodi for sharing his lovely post!
Posted: 4:49 am on August 13th
bigmouse683 writes: The miracle fruit berries are really hard to find :(
Posted: 5:07 am on March 11th
stewardMblake writes: I recently watched a video of SciShow and they were talking about that miracle fruit. It's kind of creepy what it does to you, but I am still going to try it one day! Living on the edge, you know?
Posted: 4:22 am on March 10th
marlenehahn writes: very nice. thanks for sharing this.. this is very useful information...
Posted: 1:22 am on February 17th
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