Yesterday, tablets made from freeze-dried extract of Miracle Fruit arrived in the mail. The fruit is native to west Africa and contains an active glycoprotein called --I kid you not-- miraculin, which binds with your taste buds and makes sour foods taste sweet.
Last night, I hosted a small "Flavor Tripping" party with my family. After mashing the tablets around in our mouths for about 30 seconds, we tried an arrangement of citrus fruits and acidic treats. And it works! The effect was not quite as pronounced as I had hoped, but it did last for about 45 minutes and there certainly was a discernible difference.
Lemon wedges tasted like delicious lemon drops and lemon water like lemonade. Whipped cream tasted like ice cream. Raw strawberries tasted like they were dipped in sugar. And Guinness tasted like a chocolate shake!
It was a fun and unique experience. I look forward to trying it again. And although flavor tripping is something of an expensive habit, one box of tablets contains 20 servings. The benefits for sugar addicts like myself and patients suffering from diabetes are pretty obvious, so I'd expect to see miracle fruit becoming more available. There are, however, rumors circulating that the big sugar companies have been quietly suppressing the introduction of the plant to western markets. So get it while you still can!