Never mind the tongue twister heres the tongue trickster
Parsons reports on the craze for a strange type of fruit.
drinking a glass of pure, freshly-squeezed lemon juice with nothing added. Its
enough to turn your stomach.
as one-by-one they down the drink, tentative at first, and then smiling broadly
as they declare, It tastes just like grandmas lemonade.
or so people crowd around a table on the rooftop terrace of Larrys small
but swish apartment. I edge my way forward and arrive at the table that positively
groans with the array of food piled high. My host appears at
my shoulder, and says, Here, have this. This turns out to be a small
red berry about the size of a blueberry, but slightly elongated, the shape of
a coffee bean.
looks at the expression on my face. Its known as the miracle fruit.
Just put it in your mouth, he instructs, and chew it slightly to separate
the pulp from its seed. I obey his command
and then discreetly spit the remains into my handkerchief while his glance is
he asks, turning back to me. I nod. He grabs a glass of the lemon juice from a
passing waiter and offers it to me. Now drink. I take a small sip,
and close my eyes. The guests are right.
My host states
knowingly I have experienced first-hand the phenomenon of the Synsepalum Dulcificum,
or the Miracle Fruit. This small berry has the amazing effect of causing bitter
or sour foods to taste as sweet as sugar candy.
When it comes into
contact with acidic foods, like vinegar, it starts to behave like a sweetener.
native fruit of West Africa, the fruit was discovered by western explorers around
1725. Left uncultivated,
the miracle fruit grows in bushes reaching six metres in height. It produces crops
twice yearly, usually after the rainy season, and has attractive white flowers.
being around for centuries it is only in recent years that the miracle fruit has
been cultivated as a potential sweetener. There has been some albeit limited interest
from the diet food industy.
Not only that the fruit can aid patients receiving medical treatment that
may leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth.