Miracle Berries

Miracle berriesFlavour-tripping parties...they sound fun, if a little illicit, don't they? They're a recent fad as seen is such fashionista parts of the US as New York and San Fransisco. The deal is you turn up, eat some "miracle berries", and then go through your host's fridge eating even the most apalling sort of edibles relying on the afore-mentioned magic fruit to make them taste like sweet sweet nectar.

Sounds suitably implausible, the Poorhouse agrees. But it seems to be true...miracle berries do have a ridiculous name to be sure but they're nothing new. Documented a few hundred years ago and with a slightly more scientific name of Sideroxylon dulcificum or Synsepalum dulcificum they have been used for centuries by Africans native to the part of the world they traditionally grow in.

More recently, a few decades ago, there were moves in the US market to use them to aid health, dieting et al. as a sort of non-calorific sugar substitute for dieters. Trials seemed successful, but at the last minute the scheme was bust up by a snap decision by the FDA in 1974 to actually not allow the berries to be used in this way after all. Allegations of massive conspiracy from the sugar industry have been made. Nevertheless, they're back in fashion today, albeit with many a warning of "no-one has died from it in centuries but it's not guarenteed to be safe" to be seen.

For the Loreal-style science: they work via a glycoprotein (called "miraculin" for extra credibility, of course), which for up to a couple of hours after ingestion, stops the tongue tasting nasty bitter or sour flavours. The result of this is that previously distasteful substances may taste like sweetie heaven. Examples abound on t'interwebs; classics include that raw lemons taste like sugary lemon meringue, vinegar tastes like treacle, stinky blue cheese tastes like nougat. There are even hints, albeit more from sellers than anyone else, that it could even help with hangovers (despite the fact that presumably it makes even tequila taste delicious, which does not sound like a recipe for good health).

The more one reads, the less likely it sounds - or if it is, then why did it take so many hundred years for them to have hit even small cult status. So just to forward the frontiers of exploration of course the Poorhouse will be indulging shortly. Admittedly something seems to be a bit suspect of whamming off money to strange foreign lands in exchange for "miracle berries" but...who dares wins. Full ignoring has been of Poor-friend semi-mocking allegories of the tale of Poorhouse buying miracle berries to that of Jack buying magic beans - just because you can't get a glass of milk in either of their houses. Still, it worked out for him, right?


just be careful. apparently

just be careful. apparently "bananas are just bananas" so don't go too experimental :)

That's a shame...given my

That's a shame...given my general distaste for such objects it would have been a natural candidate. Trips to the beautiful banana island, home of actual nice bananas, cost too much to go every day. How about fish?

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