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Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

Old 06-04-08, 11:02 AM
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Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

My wife and I ordered some for her birthday, but being that it is this saturday, and the "Shipping notice" at the top of http://www.miraclefruitman.com/, I doubt that we will get them in time. Oh well. we will just have to throw another party.

NY Times Article

Originally Posted by NY Times

May 28, 2008
A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue
By PATRICK FARRELL and KASSIE BRACKEN
CARRIE DASHOW dropped a large dollop of lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness, stirred, drank and proclaimed that it tasted like a “chocolate shake.”

Nearby, Yuka Yoneda tilted her head back as her boyfriend, Albert Yuen, drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: “Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!”

They were among 40 or so people who were tasting under the influence of a small red berry called miracle fruit at a rooftop party in Long Island City, Queens, last Friday night. The berry rewires the way the palate perceives sour flavors for an hour or so, rendering lemons as sweet as candy.

The host was Franz Aliquo, 32, a lawyer who styles himself Supreme Commander (Supreme for short) when he’s presiding over what he calls “flavor tripping parties.” Mr. Aliquo greeted new arrivals and took their $15 entrance fees. In return, he handed each one a single berry from his jacket pocket.

“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. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.

During the 1970s, a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration dashed hopes that an extract of miraculin could be sold as a sugar substitute. In the absence of any plausible commercial application, the miracle fruit has acquired a bit of a cult following.

Sina Najafi, editor in chief of the art magazine Cabinet, has featured miracle fruits at some of the publication’s events. At a party in London last October, the fruit, he said, “had people testifying like some baptismal thing.”

The berries were passed out last week at a reading of “The Fruit Hunters,” a new book by Adam Leith Gollner with a chapter about miracle fruit.

Bartenders have been experimenting with the fruit as well. Don Lee, a beverage director at the East Village bar Please Don’t Tell, has been making miracle fruit cocktails on his own time, but the bar probably won’t offer them anytime soon. The fruit is highly perishable and expensive — a single berry goes for $2 or more.

Lance J. Mayhew developed a series of drink recipes with miracle fruit foams and extracts for a recent issue of the cocktail magazine Imbibe and may create others for Beaker & Flask, a restaurant opening later this year in Portland, Ore.

He cautioned that not everyone enjoys the berry’s long-lasting effects. Despite warnings, he said, one woman became irate after drinking one of his cocktails. He said, “She was, like, ‘What did you do to my mouth?’ ”

Mr. Aliquo issues his own warnings. “It will make all wine taste like Manischewitz,” he said. And already sweet foods like candy can become cloying.

He said that he had learned about miracle fruit while searching ethnobotany Web sites for foods he could make for a diabetic friend.

The party last week was his sixth “flavor tripping” event. He hopes to put on a much larger, more expensive affair in June. Although he does sell the berries on his blog, www.flavortripping.wordpress.com, Mr. Aliquo maintains that he isn’t in it for the money. (He said he made about $100 on Friday.) Rather, he said, he does it to “turn on a bunch of people’s taste buds.”

He believes that the best way to encounter the fruit is in a group. “You need other people to benchmark the experience,” he said. At his first party, a small gathering at his apartment in January, guests murmured with delight as they tasted citrus wedges and goat cheese. Then things got trippy.

“You kept hearing ‘oh, oh, oh,’ ” he said, and then the guests became “literally like wild animals, tearing apart everything on the table.”

“It was like no holds barred in terms of what people would try to eat, so they opened my fridge and started downing Tabasco and maple syrup,” he said.

Many of the guests last week found the party through a posting at www.tThrillist.com. Mr. Aliquo sent invitations to a list of contacts he has been gathering since he and a friend began organizing StreetWars, a popular urban assassination game using water guns.

One woman wanted to see Mr. Aliquo eat a berry before she tried one. “What, you don’t trust me?” he said.

She replied, “Well, I just met you.”

Another guest said, “But you met him on the Internet, so it’s safe.”

The fruits are available by special order from specialty suppliers in New York, including Baldor Specialty Foods and S. Katzman Produce. Katzman sells the berries for about $2.50 a piece, and has been offering them to chefs.

Mr. Aliquo gets his miracle fruit from Curtis Mozie, 64, a Florida grower who sells thousands of the berries each year through his Web site, www.miraclefruitman.com. (A freezer pack of 30 berries costs about $90 with overnight shipping.) Mr. Mozie, who was in New York for Mr. Gollner’s reading, stopped by the flavor-tripping party.

Mr. Mozie listed his favorite miracle fruit pairings, which included green mangoes and raw aloe. “I like oysters with some lemon juice,” he said. “Usually you just swallow them, but I just chew like it was chewing gum.”

A large group of guests reached its own consensus: limes were candied, vinegar resembled apple juice, goat cheese tasted like cheesecake on the tongue and goat cheese on the throat. Bananas were just bananas.

For all the excitement it inspires, the miracle fruit does not make much of an impression on its own. It has a mildly sweet tang, with firm pulp surrounding an edible, but bitter, seed. Mr. Aliquo said it reminded him of a less flavorful cranberry. “It’s not something I’d just want to eat,” he said.
P.S. Sorry if this was posted before. I did a search on Miracle and miracle berry, but didn't see anything.
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Old 06-04-08, 11:09 AM
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Old 06-04-08, 11:11 AM
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damn_hippies.
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Old 06-04-08, 11:23 AM
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“It was like no holds barred in terms of what people would try to eat, so they opened my fridge and started downing Tabasco and maple syrup,”



Sorry folks, but I'll have to wait for a Miracle Berry that tricks my bowels into crapping lollypops before I start downing Tobasco Sauce.
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Old 06-04-08, 11:40 AM
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Next thing you'll know, they'll be cloning animals.
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Old 06-04-08, 12:15 PM
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Would definitely be interesting to try.
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Old 06-04-08, 12:19 PM
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That berry has been around for a long time. It is usually considered dangerous, because you can't tell if what you are eating is bad for you.
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Old 06-04-08, 12:22 PM
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I thought about that when people are just drinking vinegar. Can't be good for you.
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Old 06-04-08, 12:24 PM
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could this be the miracle for all those husbands wanting their wives to ... um .. finish?
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Old 06-04-08, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
That berry has been around for a long time. It is usually considered dangerous, because you can't tell if what you are eating is bad for you.
...which is only really a problem if you tend to eat blindfolded.
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Old 06-04-08, 12:56 PM
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Ok... you can't tell if what you are eating is bad.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Ok... you can't tell if what you are eating is bad.
I really don't think people are going to be eating these barries and then potentially rotten food.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:17 PM
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A Lemon Party!
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Old 06-04-08, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
That berry has been around for a long time. It is usually considered dangerous, because you can't tell if what you are eating is bad for you.
Well, if you're the type of person who's stupid enough to say to yourself, "Gee, I wonder what this Drano tastes like now," then you probably deserve to die.

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Old 06-04-08, 05:38 PM
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I suppose you could use it to trick someone into eating something nasty...
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Old 06-04-08, 06:13 PM
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A large group of guests reached its own consensus: limes were candied, vinegar resembled apple juice, goat cheese tasted like cheesecake on the tongue and goat cheese on the throat. Bananas were just bananas.
No change to bananas = no sale!
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Old 06-04-08, 06:23 PM
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But the banana peels taste like ROAST BEEF!
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Old 06-04-08, 11:16 PM
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I ordered some of this for my dad about a month ago. He had tonsil cancer several years ago and the radiation treatments screwed up his taste buds. Many things taste completely different to him and most sweet things taste absolutely disgusting. Anyway, we thought this might make sweet foods taste sweet, again. Didn't work for him due to the damage. BUT, the rest of us thought it was a trip. We devoured a lime; it tasted like candy. Tabasco sauce tasted like sweet tomato sauce, dark beer tasted like chocolate, etc etc. It was pretty cool but I don't see any real use for it.
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Old 06-05-08, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by The Edit King
“It was like no holds barred in terms of what people would try to eat, so they opened my fridge and started downing Tabasco and maple syrup,”



Sorry folks, but I'll have to wait for a Miracle Berry that tricks my bowels into crapping lollypops before I start downing Tobasco Sauce.
THEEK, I just laughed so hard that I had a coughing fit! Reading your posts is dangerous!


Speaking of dangerous, I'm thinking that "crapping lollypops" sounds REALLY painful and potentially life-threatening, so I'll take a pass on THAT experience, thanks.



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Old 06-05-08, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by achau9598
could this be the miracle for all those husbands wanting their wives to ... um .. finish?



This is especially funny when you notice that the OP ordered these for his WIFE to try...

C-Mart, thanks for the story, now I want to order these for our next party. Sounds like a trip.
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Old 06-05-08, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by shoppingbear



This is especially funny when you notice that the OP ordered these for his WIFE to try...

C-Mart, thanks for the story, now I want to order these for our next party. Sounds like a trip.
Nice. She alerted me to the story and wanted to order them. Personally I would pass on $2 berries with a 30 berry minimum and $30 shipping... yes, $90 for 30 berries that we won't even get in time due to this article. Oh well, another party shall be had when they arrive.
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Old 07-07-11, 11:05 PM
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Re: Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

I know, "holy thread bump" but I recived my order from Think Geek today and one of the things I ordered was the



Has anybody tried these since the original thread?

I just bought some grapefruit and dark chocolate to try. If all is well ( and tastes good) I'll try other stuff..
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Old 07-07-11, 11:50 PM
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Re: Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

Interesting - will be looking for the update. Was the price reasonable?
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Old 07-07-11, 11:57 PM
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Re: Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

I got 2 packs for 24.95 and if they work well I have a $10 off my next purchase.

The Grapefruit is going to be consumed in the morning. I will post an update after..
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Old 07-08-11, 01:58 AM
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Re: Lemons taste like Candy! It's the Miracle Berry

We order these every year at Christmas and I think I have a box in my desk somewhere. It is a lot of fun but you have to be careful because if you eat a ton of citrus it will tear your mouth up and you won't even realize it until later. They are great with any citrus, hot sauce, wine, sour pickles. You have to be careful with things that are already sweet because it makes them too sweet. Oh, and it makes beer really nasty (if you like it to begin with).

Also, since they are pricey and if you want to stretch them for a bigger group you can split them in half. You still get the full taste sensation, but it only lasts about 15 minutes vs. the usual 30.
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