I am a complete fool for culinary curiosities. The are three jars of candied olives, a bottle of truffle oil, two different kinds of black rice, and several packets of instant pho in my kitchen cabinets right now. For a few months, my friends Kevin and Sara had to avoid coming to dinner because I kept threatening to make chicken with truffles I had bought at TJ Maxx. (When I finally opened the jar, they were dry, gritty things and I threw them away. I’m a sucker, but a picky one.)
But Miracle Fruit is by far the strangest and coolest thing I’ve tried in a long time. It’s a berry that (and this is just such a strange idea) has something called miraculin in it that bonds to your taste buds and temporarily keeps you from tasting the sourness of things.
I bought my Miracle Fruit in tablet form on Ebay. So, yes, just to clarify–I bought strange pills from an unknown person and let one dissolve on my tongue. If you think this is the first time I’ve ever done that, you’re clearly a stranger who has just wandered over here from someplace a little more sheltered. But anyway… So, I let the pill dissolve on my tongue and then waited two minutes, as instructed by the few English directions on the box. After two minutes, I took a giant swig of cranberry juice and almost spit it out because it was so sweet! There was no bitterness it all. So I tried orange juice. Same thing. Tastes like Sunny-D. (So, yeah, gross.)
“Well,” I thought, because I am prone thinking these sorts of things, “so what if it can make orange juice taste like Sunny-D? Can it make lemon juice taste good? I bet not!” And then I liberally squeezed the plastic lemon until I had a good mouthful of juice. (Maybe proof that all this dissolving-tabs-from-strangers stuff has been less than a great idea.) And it wasn’t sour at all! It tasted like those candied lemon wedges that sat on my great-grandmother’s coffee table. (Again, not really a taste I’d go looking for, but you get the point.)
If you know me, you are probably going to get a box of these for Christmas, and maybe a few grapefruit or kumquats. And you won’t believe me that it works as well as it does until you squeeze juice from your own plastic lemon onto your tongue