As some of you may remember that at Candy Babel we sell Miracle Frooties (tablets) a double factory sealed tablet made of dried Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum). A little red fruit about 1.3 to 1.8 cm (0.6 to 0.8 inch) in length and 8 mm (0.4 inch) in width. Miracle Fruit berries cause bitter and sour foods (lemons, grapes, vinegar,...), consumed after eating Miracle Fruit berries, to taste sweet.
The berry was first documented by explorer Chevalier des Marchais who searched for many different fruits during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. The plant grows in bushes up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high in its native habitat but does not usually grow higher than ten feet in cultivation, and it produces two crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seedsare about the size of coffee beans.
The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. While the exact cause for this change is unknown, one hypothesis is that the effect may be caused if miraculin works by distorting the shape of sweetness receptors "so that they become responsive to acids, instead of sugar and other sweet things".This effect lasts 15-30 minutes.
Once picked, the fruit only lasts a few days. Because of this we prefer the dried, powdered version, called Miracle Frooties. Fresh miracle berries are freeze dried moments after being picked to produce powdered Miracle Berries with the same effect as fresh berries. The powder is then compressed into Froooties for easier usage.
Since I’d been wanting to try these for ages, and I seem to have a few customers that don't eat any sugar, It seemed like a good time to offer something to tickle the taste buds in a sugar free way!
The Simply Orange people make a variety of not-from-concentrate, no-sugar-added citrus juices that are perfect for this. A word of warning: those things will go down easy. I was accidentally a little heavy handed with the Gin while making a a drink for a friend, and he said it tasted like delicious, sugary lemonade. If you’re a beer drinker, you can go for the sour beers. Avoid sugary drinks—they will taste way too sweet. Except Guinness is reported to taste like Chocolate mike!
Tips for hosting your own flavor-tripping party:
When you and your guests eat the miracle berry tablet, make sure everyone knows to let it dissolve in his/her mouth. (The goal is to coat your taste buds.) You’ll have to endure the semi-weird silence that occurs when a group of people all stand around and wait for a pill to disintegrate in their mouths, but that’ll be over soon enough.
Snacks that I recommend include:
- limes (shockingly sweet)
- grapefruit (amazingly delicious)
- pickled things
- granny smith apples
- super sour candy
- salt & vinegar chips (taste sweet!)