Most people still have never even heard of the miracle fruit. Also known as miracle berry, they are slowly getting discovered in the western world. So what is the “miracle” that they possess? In short, they make sour fruits taste sweet. Like most people, I didn’t believe it at first, but once I tried it, it was truly amazing.
What happens is that a naturally occurring substance in them binds to the taste buds on your tongue to make things you eat afterward sweeter. The fruit itself is a tiny little red berry about the size of a cranberry, and it grows on a very slow-growing shrub that is native to Western Africa. In fact, the story goes that the locals who live where it grows in the wild figured out that their food tastes a lot better after eating one of the berries.
After hearing about them from a friend, I couldn’t find any actual berries to eat so I did the next best thing – I went to a plant nursery and bought a young miracle fruit shrub. Now, depending on where you live you probably won’t have much luck finding one at your local garden shop. I happen to live in Hawaii though, and fortunately they had a few for sale. Although the plant itself was only about 6 inches tall, it already was full of flower buds, and had a couple little berries forming on it already while it was still in a pot. All I had to do was put it in the ground outside, wait a couple of weeks, and voila – 2 miracle fruits ready to eat.
Eager to see if it worked, I sucked on a berry for a while. After that, I proceeded to go on a fruit sampling bonanza, and it was really amazing. The first thing I did was slice open a lemon, put it to my lips ready to cringe, and then WOW! It was like I was sucking sweet lemonade straight out of the lemon! After finishing off the lemon, I pulled a tangerine off the tree and tried that. Same thing – it turned a so-so tangerine into something out of the Garden of Eden. After trying a few more things like sour Suriname cherries and grapefruit, I was hooked. I go out and check on my little miracle shrub every day now, hoping to see more berries on it. Unfortunately, it grows incredibly slow and only seems to produce about a dozen berries a year right now.
The great thing is that you can actually get these miracle berries online now, and they will be sent straight to your home. There are a couple of ways that you can order them. If you want to get them fresh-picked, there is a place that grows them in Florida and will send them to you. Keep in mind that once you get them, you have to eat them within a few days or they start to turn brown and lose their magic effect. Buying fresh berries is quite expensive as well.
Alternatively, other companies are actually picking the miracle berries and then freeze drying them and pressing them into tablets, which of course can last much longer since they are sealed in blister packs. You can find some of them here. Of course, you can try to grow your own miracle fruit bush if you want, but it might need to be in a hot climate to work. But then again, I saw someone successfully grow coffee in Edmonton, which is pretty outrageous. You can order miracle berry seeds on the internet too, but my thinking is why not just order the fresh berries, eat them, and then plant the seeds that are left? Seems like a much better option than just buying a few seeds. Besides, the seeds cost more than the fruit does!