Monday, January 10, 2011
Imagine this. You are living in West Africa thousands of years ago, and you are exploring the bush, when you come upon a shrub with brilliant red berries on it. You pick a few, and eat them, chewing them thoroughly before swallowing. Still hungry, you take a bite of the food you have brought with you for a snack. But you discover that the taste of the food has been transformed. What had been bland is now flavourful; what had been sour is now sweet! You have discovered Synsepalum Dulcificum, known today as the Miracle Berry.
This berry was first documented by an explorer named Chevalier des Marchais in 1725 while he was on an excursion to West Africa, searching for different fruits. The Miracle Berry plant can grow over five meters tall and the bright red berries are typically two to three centimeters long.
The Miracle Berry was introduced to the US in the 70s by hippies who had traveled the world and were sharing their insights and experimentation with food. Although there was initially strong interest in the product, it never really took off commercially, which may say something about the power of the sugar industry in the western world. We are a culture that is addicted to sugar.
The magic is in an active glyconutrient called Miraculin that temporarily binds to the taste buds to make bitter and sour foods taste sweet. This effect lasts from thirty minutes to two hours, though on average for about one hour.
The berry itself, which has a short shelf life, has been developed into a tablet form that can be placed on the tongue and sucked on until it dissolves, thereafter producing the magical, miraculous trick to the taste buds.
It is thought that the Miracle Berry could be effective for use with Diabetes, Chemotherapy (which can sometimes result in a metallic taste in the mouth), and weight loss.
It'a a great theme for a party. Order the miracle berries from Miracle Fruit Hut and ask everyone to bring one or two items from the following list:
• Sour Pickles
• California Oranges
• Vinegar and Vinegar-based Foods
• Lime Pickle
• Stout (Guinness)
• Strawberries + Goat Cheese = Strawberry Cheese cake
• Lemon Squeezed into Water = Sprite / Traditional Lemonade
• Blue cheese
• Goat cheese
• cream cheese
• coconut gels
• Apple, Lemon or Strawberry Strudel
• Lemon Meringue Pie
• 99%/ bitter cocoa Chocolate
• Currants (red, black, white)
• Yuzu (Japanese Citrus)
You can list these items on a sheet of paper and have everyone taste them at the same time and describe them using this list of adjectives from Forme of Cury. Words around our table included earthy, sweet, doggy poo, intense, mellow, honeyed and everyone was excited to share their taste sensations and wondered what the next item would taste like. It was a fun night!
1 pack of 10 tablets: $12.99 US if shipped to US or $13.99 US if shipped to Canada or Europe + shipping