There was an article in the New York Times a few weeks ago about this amazing little berry that numbs your sour and bitter taste buds for up to 2 hours. The idea of eating something that could completely change the flavor of everything else that follows has stuck with me ever since I read about it.
Miracle fruit, miracle berry, magic fruit are some of the names that this little berry goes by (apparently the name ‘miracle’ berry comes from the glycoprotein that can be extracted from it called miraculin) and it has become the inspiration for Mr. Aliquo’s “flavor tripping parties” in New York where guests can go and experiment with this fruit. This is how it goes; you pop a berry, chew for 30 seconds to a minute and swallow. Miraculin binds to the tongue altering your taste buds so that a lemon tastes sweet, Tabasco sauce tastes like donut glaze, and lemon sorbet dropped into some Guinness tastes like a chocolate milkshake. HOW COOL IS THAT!
Now, there is probably a reason why things tastes sour and/or acidic – it’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of chugging vinegar; I’m sure it would wreak havoc on your stomach. That said, it would be great to be able to experience an ‘alternate universe’ where goat cheese tastes like cheesecake and bananas taste like… well, bananas. Yet most of us may never have the chance to because this berry is so hard to find.
Thanks to the NY Times article, a couple of places in New York City have already been added to Cook’s Compass as locations to find Miracle Berries and I’m sure there are many people out there who would be interested in finding them in their area. If you know where to find some, let everyone know at www.cookscompass.com. We’d all be grateful.