Several months ago, my friend Joanna posted about the miracle fruit dinner she hosted on her site, My Vegetable Blog. While the buzz surrounding this fascinating natural plant had somewhat diminished, my interest in trying it out for myself did not. Miracle fruit contains a protein called Miraculin that binds with the taste buds to create a sweet flavor when it comes in contact with acids. The reaction can last two to three hours.
I decided to buy miracle fruit through an online vendor called Miracle UK. I ordered a pouch containing enough freeze-dried miracle fruit powder for 10 and split it with six friends. The distribution of this pink powder was rather amusing, but once we had all spooned it into our mouths a silence fell over the table as we waited for it to dissolve.
I reached for a lemon wedge and bit into it, bracing myself for disappointment. I was met with the flavors of a perfect batch of lemonade. It had worked as advertised.
Our dining selection was certainly one of the strangest I have encountered at a dinner party. We all brought odds and ends, many of which were informed by other miracle fruit party descriptions. Here is a list of what we had on hand:
Sour Patch Kids
Granny Smith apple
The most striking item to many of us was the tomatillo. It tasted like a complexly flavored apple. Absolutely delicious. All of the citrus fruits and fresh vegetables responded well. The vinegars and tequilas were smooth and the buttermilk tasted like cream. The goat cheese and sour cream tasted like frosting, and the strong blue cheese we had been enjoying before dinner tasted very mellow after eating the miracle fruit.
We all agreed that the Guinness did not taste "like a chocolate milkshake" and in fact, we started to suspect that the spicy foods and the alcohols might have actually sped up the dissipation of the miracle fruit reaction. Those that had foods from these two groups early on seemed to have a much shorter experience.
I certainly hope miracle fruit never finds its way into my foods as a commercial sweetner, but the dinner party sampling was a lot of fun.