Miracle berries: putting the “miraculin” in miraculous

Gabrielle Parrish, Editor-in-Chief

If I had been granted magical powers as a child, the first thing I would have done would be to turn my vegetables into dessert. I mean, priorities right? But as far as reality goes, making healthy foods taste like sugary desserts without losing any of their nutritional value was ranked up there with receiving my Hogwarts acceptance letter. 

So you can imagine my astonishment when, while touring a cacao farm a couple weeks ago in Hawaii, my tour guide casually pointed out a miracle berry plant that could supposedly make sour foods taste sweet. 

Of course, I was skeptical. How had I never heard of such a plant? It sounded too good to be true—even the name “miracle berry” or “magic fruit” as it is otherwise referred to reflects its unbelievable capabilities. 

Online research did little to overcome my incredulity. It’s one thing to read about something, but quite another to actually experience it firsthand. 

I could explain to you that the berries are not a sweetener like sugar, but actually contain a glycoprotein molecule known as miraculin, and that this taste-modifying protein changes the flavors of acidic foods by altering the sweet receptors on your tongue. I could also tell you that, depending on the person, the effects of the miraculin typically last between 15 minutes and an hour, and you can take my word for it. 

But if you’re anything like me (who still wasn’t sure if it would work even as I was actively eating it), you should try it for yourself.

As vaccines are becoming widely available, more people are starting to see their friends again. Having a “flavor tripping party”, or a miracle berry taste test, is a great small-group activity for you and your friends to try! 

The plant typically grows in tropical climates, but the berries can easily be purchased online. Several companies extract the miraculin from the berry and sell them in tablet form, which is what I bought on Amazon. 

Whether you’re interested in having an exciting taste test with your friends, trying to spice up your back-to-school lunch, or looking for a fun and healthy alternative to sugary desserts, I would 100% recommend trying this fruit. It truly is a miraculous experience!

 

Watch my miracle berry taste test here!