Twisting our Tastebuds

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Photo courtesy of Emily Wat

Last night, we gathered to try miracle fruit. We first heard about miracle fruit a few years ago through our friend Matt, who explained it’s “miracle” qualities: essentially it alters your tastebuds so that things taste different. From what we’d read, lemons would taste sweet and tabasco sauce like doughnut glaze. We knew we wanted to try it out right away, but only got around to it recently – and thanks to Emily’s nudging and co-planning, we got it planned and turned the event into a fundraiser for Haiti relief.

We found a great source in Toronto to get the berries from and ordered 2 berries per person and came up with a pretty massive list of things to buy. Our haul:

Photo courtesy of Emily Wat

The tasting proved pretty interesting. It started with a berry – you’re supposed to not just eat it, but keep it in your mouth and swish it around for a minute or two. The berry itself tasted pretty gross (for me) – it had a fairly strong bitter flavour that got stronger the longer it was in your mouth. After that, you move on to tasting a variety of foods – and a variety we certainly had!

Frankly it wasn’t nearly as intense of a taste change for me as I’d expected. However, some people had much, much stronger reactions than I did. That was actually one of the more interesting things, I think – everyone seemed to have different reactions. So hey – if you were there (or if you’ve had your own tasting) please comment! I’m curious if there were reactions different from what I’m going to list here. Also, I don’t really remember the reaction for everything – so if I left anything out, please say so!

Citrus in general was a big thing everyone recommended tasting, as the sour bite was supposed to be replaced with pure sweetness.

Lemons: Many people said it tasted like a lemon that had been dipped in sugar. For me? It was kind of… spicy, for lack of a better way to put it. It kind of made my mouth tingle, and it wasn’t really so pleasant. I definitely didn’t get the sweetness. So much so that I was convinced my berry hadn’t really worked, so I had another. (We were given a few extra, so we had enough for a few of us to indulge in another)

Limes: Most people loved these – found them crazy sweet. In fact, they proved to be somewhat of a litmus test for testing to see if the miracle fruit had worn off. Again though, for me? It was… oddly spicy. It did seem to change periodically though, as I got a bit of sweetness and less spice occasionally. Kind of odd.

Grapefruit: This one tasted mega-sweet for me. Almost like Sunny Delight. A super-sweet orangey taste. Kind of awesome.

Oranges: Similar to above… sweet, not sour at all.

Pineapple: This turned sweet – it tasted like pineapple, but as if it had been canned pineapple marinating in a syrup.

Onion: This lost it’s intensity and tasted like a very mild onion.

Jalapeño: No change at all – still spicy!

90% Cocoa: No change.

Kiwi: Very very blah. No flavour at all.

Balsamic Vinegar: Not much change at all. Maybe a bit milder.

Guinness: We’d heard this should taste like chocolate or Bailey’s… not so much. But it was quite different. Not nearly as bitter, and was very smooth.

Yellow Mustard: Tasted like a sweet honey mustard.

Mowgli’s Own Dill Pickles: Sweet pickles!

Candied Ginger: Still pretty intense for me, but most people thought it was much milder.

Wasabi Peas: Lost all spice for me, but tasted pretty similar – just without the punch.

Coffee: We brewed a strong black coffee… it tasted like a very weak brew.

Hot Sauce: Most people found it very sweet… it didn’t taste much different to me.

Tabasco: No doughnut glaze for me, though there were a few people who seemed amazed by how sweet it was.

Limoncello: The most disgusting thing ever. It wasn’t exactly sour… definitely wasn’t sweet. It had a really strong alcohol punch, and then just… blech. Really gross.

Overall? Sweet things tasted pretty blah and flavourless. Sour things tasted sweet (or for me, spicy!). Spicy things tasted sweet for some, and had no change for others.

In the end, we had a great time and donated $150 to the Canadian Red Cross (which will be matched by the Canadian government). Thanks to everyone who came and participated! We had a lot of fun.

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5 Responses to “Twisting our Tastebuds”

  1. Rick Says:

    I think my first berry didn’t work, but the second seemed to have a slight reaction. I didn’t get the full effect that others seemed to, but here are my observations.

    Lemons: Sweet — tasty, even.
    Limes: Also sweet. Quite good.
    Grapefruit: Bland — no major change.
    Oranges: Didn’t bother to try one.
    Pineapple: Delicious!
    Onion: Lost its taste for the most part.
    Jalapeño: Not spicy on the tongue, but spicy in the throat!
    90% Cocoa: Much less bitter, but not as good as milk chocolate.
    Kiwi: Agreed. No flavour at all.
    Balsamic Vinegar: No difference.
    Guinness: Still gross.
    Yellow Mustard: Great! Sweeter than normal.
    Mowgli’s Own Dill Pickles: Definitely sweeter than normal.
    Candied Ginger: Still gross.
    Wasabi Peas: They did lose the initial oomph.
    Coffee: Didn’t try this.
    Hot Sauce: Completely sweet and pleasant.
    Tabasco: Surprisingly sweet on the tongue, but still hot in the throat.

  2. Matt Says:

    How long is the effect of the miracle fruit supposed to last?

    • Cari Miller Says:

      Anywhere from 20-45 minutes. It seemed to vary by person. For me, only 20 minutes or so, but we definitely did have some people upwards of 35/40 minutes. That’s why we got two per person 🙂

  3. Life at No.71: A Year In Review « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] Life at No. 71 Just another WordPress.com weblog « Twisting our Tastebuds […]

  4. savorysimple Says:

    I’ve never heard of this before! The results sound less than miraculous, but very interesting.

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