Lemons so sweet that they taste like lemonade? Vinegar that tastes like apple juice? What in the name of all that’s sour is going on here? Miracle berries, that’s what! These little red, cranberry-like fruits have a special protein in them that coats your tongue and blocks sour or bitter flavors, thus providing a fun and unique tasting experience.
At this point, you’re probably scrambling to think of situations where this would be even remotely useful so let me throw a couple of ideas out there for you:
- Miracle berries (aka miracle fruit) can help make foods taste sweeter so that you can reduce your actual sugar intake.
- You can throw super-cool taste tripping parties with your friends and fellow foodies in order to enjoy a unique and intriguing tasting experience.
We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves though. Before we talk about the fun uses of miracle fruit, let’s talk a bit about where they come from and how they alter flavors.
How Does This Magic Berry Work?
Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gate: magic fruit doesn’t actually change how foods taste, it changes how your tongue PERCIEVES the taste. There’s a glycoprotein in the berry called miraculin that blocks receptors on your tongue from detecting sour, acidic or bitter flavors and enhances other flavors, particularly sweet notes.
The results of miracle fruit are more obvious in foods that have both sweet and sour attributes such as lemons, vinegar, Granny Smith apples and under-ripe berries but if you eat them with anything with a sugar component, the sweetness will be enhanced. For instance, if you try a banana after eating a miracle berry, you may notice a subtle coconut or pineapple flavor.
Where Do These Magic Berries Come From?
Miracle berries come from the miracle plant, of course! Known to scientists as the Synsepalum Dulcificum, the miracle plant is native to West Africa and grows as tall as 20 feet in native soil. In any other climate or soil, 10 feet tall is about as tall as it will grow and it takes about 3 seasons for the plant to start bearing fruit. The miracle plant is pretty tough to grow, too. It requires warm, acidic, bug-free conditions and only about half of the shrubs will ever bear fruit even if everything is perfect.
The miracle plant is regularly grown in South Florida, Taiwan, Ghana and Puerto Rico in addition to its native South Africa. The red miracle berry is typically about the size of a large cranberry and has a semi-sweet, mildly tart flavor. Most people don’t eat them for the flavor; they eat them for the miraculin experience.
The Problems with Fresh Miracle Berries
Everybody knows that the best produce is fresh produce and in the case of miracle fruit, it’s especially true. There are three reasons why using fresh magic berries isn’t always the best way to go:
1 – Because they’re so difficult to grow and have limited growing regions, miracle berries are expensive. A single berry will cost you between $2 and $7.
2 – Miracle fruits have a very short shelf life; they’re only good fresh for a couple of days after they’re picked.
3 – Miraculin begins to degrade as soon as the berry is picked so if you eat the miracle berry either fresh or frozen, you may not be getting the optimal experience.
What’s Are Miracle Berry Tablets?
Because of the problems with using fresh or even frozen magic berries, Japanese researchers came up with the idea of freeze-drying the miracle fruit. The miraculin is preserved and you no longer have to worry about shelf life.
They took it another step and compressed the freeze-dried berries into tablets by adding a small amount of corn starch as a binding agent. Each miracle berry tablet is the equivalent of about 3 miracle fruit and can be broken in half so that you get two servings from each tablet.
There are several obvious advantages to using the miracle berry tablet rather than the fresh fruit.
1 – You no longer have to worry about shelf life. You can order your Miracle Berry tablets for yourself of for your flavor tripping party as much as a year in advance.
2 – You get more bang for your buck – each Miracle Berry tablet costs between $1 and $2 and has two servings.
3 – The miracle fruits are freeze dried as soon as they’re picked so that you get the most miraculin possible.
The only thing that you need to be careful about is that, just as with all of the other awesome things available, there are miracle berry tablet knock-offs. Our Miracle Berry fruit tablets are 100% natural; they contain nothing but freeze-dried miracle fruit and a small amount of cornstarch as a binding agent to form the tablet. Beware particularly of products that claim to be 100% berries because that’s impossible. The freeze-dried miracle fruit won’t press into a solid tablet without the cornstarch.
How Do You Use Miracle Berry Tablets?
Great question! Simply break your tablet in half and roll it around in your mouth so that you coat your entire tongue. It will have sort of a blueberry/cranberry flavor. The effect of the miraculin will last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, or until you wash it away with water.
What Can You Use the Miracle Berry Tablets For?
Glad you asked. Now that we’ve covered all of the technical stuff, we can get to the fun part! Miracle Berry tablets have a couple of common super-cool uses, or just feel free to find your own use for them. After all, they’re harmless, they’re calorie-free and they’re yours!
Decrease Your Sugar Intake
Because the miraculin masks sour, acidic and bitter flavors and enhances the sweetness of any food with that contains a form of sugar, you can use such ingredients as cidar vinegar as a sweetener in place of sugar.
Molecular gastronomy chef Homaru Cantu has actually written a cookbook and opened a restaurant based on his use of miracle berries. His recipes significantly decrease the calories of favorite foods such as pancakes by exchanging sugar for small amounts of vinegar or agave nectar.
As you can imagine, if you’re willing to be a little creative and experimental, using the Miracle Berry tablets to decrease sugar intake would be great if you’re trying to lose weight, are diabetic or are just your average Joe who’d like to eat a little healthier.
Throw Flavor Tripping Parties
Foodies around the world enjoy having friends over to try new things and share ideas but the miracle berry takes the concept of food parties to an entirely different level. If you love trying new foods and have a group of like-minded friends, how about getting together and trying FAMILIAR foods that taste new? Here are some observations from people who have used magic fruit or Miracle Berry tablets:
- Lemons taste like lemonade
- Guiness beer tastes like a chocolate shake
- Spicy dill pickles taste like spicy sweet pickles
- Wing sauce tastes like hot donut or cake glaze
- Olives taste like…sweet olives (it’s an odd flavor but interesting)
- Apple cider vinegar tastes like apple juice
- Whole grain bread tastes almost cake-like
- Semi-ripe strawberries, pineapples and kiwis taste like the sweetest, ripest fruits you’ve ever eaten
Just as with all things culinary, only your imagination limits what you can do with the Miracle Berry tablets. One thing is for sure, though: throughout the ages, food has brought people together. Over magnificent feasts and simple meals, friendships are forged and memories are made.
Whether you’d like to sweeten up your foods without adding sugar, entertain your friends with a flavor tripping party, or would like to use them for some other fun experiment, order your Miracle Berry tablets from us today. Culinary fun and adventure await!