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Miracle Fruit flavor tripping!

Independent travel tips for the professional at Leisure

October 2008



There was an article in the NY Times this week about the "Miracle Fruit", a west African cranberry with psychotropic effects that make everything taste sweet!

"drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: �Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!� . . .

limes were candied,
vinegar resembled apple juice,
goat cheese tasted like cheesecake on the tongue."

They ain't cheap ($2 per berry), but it has the promise to be far more than a flash in the pan.

Miracle Fruit "numbs your sour and bitter taste buds for a couple of hours after eating it. That means that everything that used to taste sour now tastes sweet . . . after eating one

stout beers taste like chocolate milkshakes,
grapefruits taste like pixie sticks,
cheeses taste like frosting,
it will make even the crappiest tequila taste like lemonade "

This video demonstrates the taste-blocking effect, or Miracle fruit:


We got ours from Thomas Vu Enterprises at, forty bucks for a handful of berries.

$40 worth of miracle fruit


Our taste test

We went to our chef Jimmie Gray to test out these berries.  He prepared a testing sampler of bitter foods so that we could see exactly how these "miracle" berries altered your sense of taste:

Chef James Gray with flavor tripping sampler


Ingesting the miracle berries

The berries are not unpleasant in taste with a pulpy inside and a chewy skin with a large seed inside.  The idea is to chew-up the skin and flash and let it sit on your tongue until you feel your taste buds going numb.

It's true you can immediately feel numbness on your tongue, just like chloraseptic spray.

It just takes a minute for the berries to numb your bitter taste buds, so get ready because everything will taste sweet!  We did this sampler of bitter foods:

A bitter food sampler platter for a flavor tripping party


  • Cider vinegar tastes like apple juice

  • You can eat a lemon like an orange, no puckering, and it tastes like lemonade candy

  • Tabasco sauce and Texas Pete taste unworldly, not hot, until it hits the edges of your tongue

  • Sour limes become sweet and refreshing


Bitter citrus was a flavor tripping favorite

Far and away, the taster said that super sour flavors like key lime juice, sour lemon and lime were amazing.  Plus, grapefruit taste like sweet candy!


Grow your own Miracle Fruit

Here is a video on how to how your own Miracle fruit.  He says he got the plant from Rivers End nursery (Curtis Mosey) in South Texas.

Here are cultivation notes for growing your own miracle fruit.

Common Names: �Miracle Fruit�, �Miracle Berry�, belongs to Sapotaceae family from Tropical West Africa.

Adaptation: Coming from hot, wet tropical lowlands, the plant is intolerant of frost and should be considered a container plant except in southern Florida and Hawaii. Older plants can survive a light frost but it is best to avoid it if possible. Miracle fruit is a marvelous conversation plant that does well in a container. Outdoors it is said to do best in partial shade.

Damage Temperature: Below 28oF / -2oC

Growth Habit: Miracle fruit is an evergreen bush or tree growing to 18 ft. in its native habitat, but rarely to 5 ft. otherwise.

Foliage: The plant has deep green, elongated leaves which grow in a spire-like habit. Both regular and large-leaf and a hairy-leaf form are known.

Flowers: The small 1/4 inch white flowers of miracle fruit are produced in flushes through many months of the year. Flower to fruit in 30 to 45 days.

Fruit: The fruit is a small bright red, ellipsoid berry approximately 2 to 3 cm long and containing a single seed. Although not sweet itself, when a single fruit is eaten and the fleshy pulp allowed to coat the taste buds of the tongue and inside of the mouth, an extraordinary effect occurs. The fruit will now allow one to eat a slice of lemon or lime without wincing. The marvelous aroma and inherent sweetness of the citrus remains but the sourness is almost completely covered. The effect remains for some 30 minutes or more.

Location: Miracle fruit is frost sensitive, and requires partial shade. It is an excellent choice for a containerized tree, which gives it the added benefit of mobility.  As an indoor plant, provide the plant with bright light such as a well lit window. In the summer the plant can be moved with care to a warm, lightly shaded spot.

Soils: An acid soil is a must for miracle fruit. They prefer a soil acidity of pH 4.5 to 5.8. This can be achieved by planting in equal parts Canadian acid peat and pine bark.  Also 50:50 mix of peat moss and perlite will give excellent result.  This combination will create an acidic environment with good drainage.  Allow the roots of the plant to fill the container before transplanting into a larger one.

Irrigation: Be sure that the soil is well draining as the plants do not like to sit in wet soils. Coming from a tropical climate they need highly humid conditions. When indoors, especially during the winter months, a small clear plastic bag put around the plant and supported by wood or a wire frame is helpful in maintaining humidity. Also, placing the plant container on a tray with stones on the bottom and filled with water to the top of the stones will add humidity to the local area. Misting the leaves with good water also helps.

Fertilization: Use a water soluble fertilizer such as Miracid and feed every 2 weeks. Use sparingly with frequency dependent on the growing season, fertilizing more frequently during the summer months.

Pruning: In general, there is no need to prune the miracle fruit plant.

Propagation: Propagation of miracle fruit is usually either by seed or cuttings. As the seed viability is short, plant the cleaned seed immediately just below the soil line using a well draining soil mixture.  Keep warm and always lightly moist with high humidity and bright light.  Seed to fruit in 2 to 5 years.

Pests and diseases: Watch for mealybugs, spider mites and other indoor potted plant pests. Waterlogged plant will succumb to root rot.







Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright � 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.