Miracle fruit trips out flavours

The New York Times have an article on the truly miraculous miracle fruit, a plant that contains a unique protein that transforms even the most intensely acidic flavours into sweet taste sensations.

“You pop it in your mouth and scrape the pulp off the seed, swirl it around and hold it in your mouth for about a minute,” he said. “Then you’re ready to go.” He ushered his guests to a table piled with citrus wedges, cheeses, Brussels sprouts, mustard, vinegars, pickles, dark beers, strawberries and cheap tequila, which Mr. Aliquo promised would now taste like top-shelf Patrón.

The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste.

Apparently, some pioneering barmen have been experimenting with miracle fruit cocktails and the article has video of a ‘flavour tripping party’ where people get together to try the small red berry before sampling a while range of foods which take on a strange news flavour.

Link to NYT article ‘A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue’.

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