Sunday, August 23, 2009

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." -Willy Wonka

Post by: Beth

Earlier this week, we received an email with an invitation to a party featuring the fruits of a so called "miracle berry plant," Synsepalum dulcificum. It sounded pretty strange, but Raja actually remembered reading an article about this berry in The New York Times while we were in Manhattan. Fuzzy on the details, we did some research to figure out what this was all about, and read that this strange fruit contains an 'active glycoprotein molecule' called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour and bitter foods to taste sweet.

The berry, hailing from West Africa, has been the subject of many studies concerning hopeful solutions to obesity, 'sweet' alternatives for diabetics, and possible advances in the areas of artificial sweetening products. Outside of the health & diet industry, this tiny fruit has set off a string of "flavour tripping parties" in major cities throughout Asia, the UK, and the US.

Sure enough, limes, lemons, and grapefruits all tasted like they've been coated in sugar! We chomped through acidic lemon slices as if they were sweet, ripe orange slices... Grapefruit and limes tasted like candy!

Spoonfulls of regular, unflavored yoghurt tasted like they were loaded with sugary goodness, and even pickles were remiscient of a sweet dessert! We popped cherry tomatoes like sugar drops, and even drinking a tablespoon of vinegar tasted almost yummy!

And for some Nishi-recommended (thank you!) all-important "people shots," here are Nishi, Chris, Raja, & myself, having a great time trying all the different foods.

Definitely a fun experience! :) If you ever get the chance to try out this "miracle berry," go for it... It's interesting, fun, and who knows... Maybe one day it will be widely available and thriving in the diet industry, healthcare sector, or some other capacity. Then you can say you tried it when it was still "just for fun!"
Thanks for stopping by and reading. :)


The Freeman Family said...

Maybe this could become a new diet. The grapefruit diet but with a new twist. Where do you find it in the US?

Beth + Raja Gupta said...

I have no idea if you can actually get your hands on them as an individual, because of FDA regulations, etc. Maybe one day though.. ;)

Kristen said...

That is so cool! Carrots for dessert?? Looks like you two are having a great time. Very envious!! ;-)

Jenny said...

Wow I need me some of that to make veggies taste better. Maybe then I'd get my daily helping. Great experience!!!