Or even tasted it?
Neither had I until I met Curtis Mozie at Marando Farms in Fort Lauderdale. Curtis is a miracle fruit grower here in Florida.
He handed me a tiny little red fruit with shiny skin and explained that after you had eaten it (meaning been chewing it) your taste buds become altered and anything sour or acid will taste sweet.
The effect could last 1-2 hours, for some even longer, he says.
Helping diabetics and people on chemotherapy
“This could be a great thing for people who are diabetic and should avoid anything sweet, anything containing sugar. When your taste buds have been affected, a grapefruit will taste really sweet.” Curtis explains.
Chemotherapy makes foods and drinks taste disagreeable and rubbery. The miracle fruit appears to replace the metallic chemical taste in patients’ mouths with a sweeter flavor that allows them to enjoy eating again; also counteracting the nausea of chemotherapy.
For raw fooders
I guess for people who want to alkalize and thus avoid most sugars, this little fruit could be helpful.
How do you eat a miracle fruit?
First you break off and remove the tiny stem from the fruit. Then pop the fruit in your mouth and chew on it; gently because there is hard pit in the center, just like in an olive. “Peel” the flesh off the pit with your teeth and be careful to spit the seed out. Chew the miracle fruit flesh well and swallow the tiny amount. It is mildly sweet with a tang.
The effect from the fruit is quite amazing
3-4 minutes after chewing my little miracle fruit, I bit into a lime wedge and it tasted as tangy and sour as usual, but with a sweet aftertaste, like it had been laced with sugar.
10 minutes later I was handed lemonade; I saw when sweet Rebecca made it for me containing just fresh squeezed lemon juice and water, no sugar what so ever. When drinking it, it actually tasted like sweet lemonade! Amazing!
When I got home that night I wanted to test again and see if the effect had worn off and had some sour kefir, it tasted really weird; and my home made granola was too sweet for me. So there is definitely some altering of the taste buds. I found the sweetness a bit unnatural though; a bit artificial maybe.
What about the fruit?
The miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum), a shrub, originated in West Africa, in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon etc. Nowadays it is grown in other tropical parts of the world like Taiwan, Puerto Rico and even here in Florida. The fruits active ingredient is a glycoprotein called miraculin. The sourness, like from a lemon, is not converted into sweet, but rather its taste is being overwhelmed by the sugars attached to the protein.
By Åsa Paul-Johansson
On the Lime – Raw Foods
Fort Lauderdale area, Florida