Friday, October 17, 2008

Food Adventures with FrankenMeg: The Miracle Fruit

Frank and Meg discover The Magic Berry from FrankenMeg on Vimeo.


Frank came home a few weeks ago raving about these strange berries a guy he works with brought in to share. They were small berries - about the size of a grape - indigenous to West Africa. They were expensive little suckers at $3 a pop, but they have an incredibly unique property that makes them worth their hefty price tag - these Miracle Fruits, as they are called, can turn sour into sweet.

"That's impossible!" I initially scoffed. But Frank's unwavering enthusiasm soon chipped away my skepticism. Well, that and a stop at Wikipedia, where I learned: "The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods to taste sweet.
" Hm, can't argue with science!

Of course, my next thought was - I HAVE to try these things! Frank raved about Guinness beer tasting like a chocolate milkshake, and grapefruit tasting like candy.

Circumstances prevented me from trying the berry for quite a while. They are difficult to come by, arriving in small shipments twice a week to a small chain of gourmet grocery stores here in NYC (Garden of Eden). They sell out immediately. Also there's apparently some guy you can buy them from, but the exchange is...well, rather shady-looking (you meet him on the street, give him cash, he gives you a small brown bag...). If you do manage to procure the actual berry, it is of course perishable so it must be eaten within a couple days.

Frank found a brilliant alternative to the actual berry - Mirac
le Fruit tablet! Affordable, small, and non-perishable, they are a great way to experience the effects of the Miracle Fruit without the expense and fuss. When they arrived in the mail, Frank and I raced to the store and filled our cart with sour foods - a lemon, a lime, a grapefruit, some raspberries, and - of course - a Guinness! We went home and began our experiment.

Did it work? Watch our video to find out!

If you'd like to try the Miracle Fruit for yourself, here's some foods that we didn't try: Goat cheese (apparently tastes like cheesecake), vinegar, cheap tequila, mustard, rhubarb, pickles, brussel sprouts, raw aloe, oysters, and Tabasco sauce. Go easy, though. While it is completely possible to eat a whole lemon, remember - it's still a lemon and you WILL wake up with acid sores (yuk!) if you're not careful. Not to mention that chasing grapefruit with goat cheese, an oyster and a pickle and washing it all down with some cheap tequila and vinegar could leave you feeling...well, exactly how you'd expect to feel.

Indigestion aside, if you do try it, please leave us a comment and let us know how your experiment went! Happy "flavor-tripping"!

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Mom said...

I can't wait to try this stuff. It looks crazy! So, how did you first hear about it?

jordan said...

That's awesome!

shellie said...

dude! this is awesome - I guess i'm gonna have to go find the chicago guy that hangs out in the alley.

(Nice Obama shirts!)

love the video blogging - nice. :)