Miracle Fruit, also known as “Magic Berries” (or more scientifically, “Synsepalum dulcificum”) is a fruit first documented some 3 centuries ago in West Africa. At the time, they were picked by local tribes and consumed before meals, apparently, to help enhance the flavours of their staple food (whatever it was), which was usually bland and dry. Thanks to Vince & Co. who organized the party again, he purchased a pack of these berries in freeze-dried form online! You can also get the fresh fruit version of these berries but needless to say, the shelf-life is a lot shorter.
The berries contain a chemical called miraculin (derived from miraculous? no, but :P) that binds to your tastes buds and alters their senses, causing food to taste … well, different from the way you know it. This kind of reminds me of that scene in the movie, Matrix, where Zephyr was talking to an agent while chewing on this big piece of steak but he’s not really eating it … anyway, I digress. Ultimately, what this stuff actually does (mainly), now that I’ve tried it, is it causes sour food to taste sweet.
It is not a drug and it is definitely not an illegal substance. According to Wikipedia, an attempt to take these fruits mainstream were “sabotaged” by Big Sugar (a claim that, being a big fan and believer of conspiracy theories, I absolutely think is true). Studies were also conducted and found that children actually prefer this natural sweetener on their popsicles, than what we have now! (see this YouTube video for more information).
The freeze-dried miracle berries feels like moist crack candies (without the crack) and tastes like Haw Flakes (山楂餅) – for those of you who grew up drinking 24 Herbs (24味) or bitter / sour Chinese medicine, I’m pretty sure you’ve had Haw Flakes to go with your cure. Edit: if you Google “Haw Flakes, Miracle Fruits”, it seems I’m not the only one who saw the connection.
Anyway, this is what we had.
Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Apple, Cherry, Kiwi, Strawberries, Tomatoes
Salt and Vinegar Chips, Super Lemons
Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce, Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Guinness, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon
The miraculous stuff plus a letter from the company the goodies were purchased from, reproduced below:
Please find enclosed your 100% pure freeze dried Miracle Berry. For best results, store in the fridge after opening. You may find the contents of the bag have compressed which is perfectly normal. We would like to thank you for ordering from us and hope you enjoy your Miracle Berry experience.
Place 0.5 grams on your tongue and let it dissolve. Wait about 5 minutes and begin your taste trip!
Must try foods include any citrus fruit, Guinness, rhubarb and cocktails but feel free to experiment.
All the best
The Miracle Berry Team
The Verdict: Sour stuff tastes sweet, sweet stuff taste even sweeter, Guinness tastes like diluted black coffee, white and red wine taste acridly bitter for some reason (the critics were right!). For me anyway, the biggest surprise was the lemon (and perhaps grapefruit and lime too); I suppose words won’t do the Miracle Fruit X lemon pairing any justice, you really have to try it for yourself.
Obviously, the lemon looks, feels and smells like a lemon … but once you put it in your mouth it was almost like eating a sweet orange, only there is no orange scent … its lemon. Even your lip taste sweet from the lemon juice. Do you know how healthy this could potentially be for you? Unfortunately though, after eating a couple slices of sour fruits, I can feel my teeth starting to turn a little sensitive. Well … you give and take right?
Finished the night with some dessert, which included a chocolate cake and ice cream from Awfully Chocolate, some interesting flavours from Haagen Dazs, watermelon and guava sorbet from Da Dolce (?), and durian ice cream (which unfortunately, we didn’t eat with the MB powder).
This was absolutely a positive experience for me … I think everyone should try and hopefully, one day, this stuff will become mainstream. Imagine having all the candies in the world, without affecting your health, weight and teeth. To hell with Big Sugar!
Note: Credit to Nelson for the great photos!
Filed under: Hong Kong Tagged: | 24 Herbs (24味), Awfully Chocolate, Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, Big Sugar, Cabernet Franc, Crack Candies, Cranberry Vodka, Da Dolce, Durian Ice Cream, Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce, Grapefruit, Guinness, Haw Flakes (山楂餅), lemon, Lime, Magic Berries, Midori Sour, Milk, Miracle Fruit, miraculin, Nerds, rhubarb, Salt and Vinegar Chips, Sambuca, Sauvignon Blanc, Sour Turns Sweet, Super Lemons, Synsepalum dulcificum, Tabasco, Vinegar