What is Miracle Fruit, or the Miracle Berry? Imagine a fruit that, for a period of time after eating, transforms any food afterwards from bitter or sour to sweet. Even citrus, like limes and lemons! If it sounds like something right out of the laboratory of Roald Dahlâ€™s Willy Wonka, you wouldnâ€™t be far off. Except that unlike everlasting gobstoppers and chocolate rivers, this fruit exists. Itâ€™s called the Miracle Fruit
, or Synsepalum dulcificum, if youâ€™re feeling Latin, and you can also grow it yourself with Synsepalum seeds. How do you purchase the miracle fruit or miracle berry synsepalum dulcificum?
The Miracle Fruit first came to the attention of the Western world in 1725 when French explorer Des Marchais first encountered it amongst the native populations of Western Africa, who subsisted on what would, without the little magic berry, be a very bitter and sour diet indeed. In 1825, Dr. W.F. Daniell tagged it the â€œMiraculous Berry,â€ identifying it as the Synsepalum dulcificum, of the Sapotaceae family, and related to the sapodilla.
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The sweet berry contains an active glycoprotein called miraculin (named thus after being isolated by Professor Kenzo Kurihara in Japan), which causes humans to detect sour flavors as sweet.
The magic cure-all for the Diabetic sweet-tooth? In the January 1985 issue of Horticulture, author Nathaniel Tripp discusses in detail the wild story detailing the mid-70s attempt to bring the Miracle Fruit to market, which, to make a long and tremendously interesting story short (and for more on that and the fruit subculture, I suggest picking up Adam Gollnerâ€™s stellar book â€œThe Fruit Huntersâ€), ended with the F.D.A. mysteriously denying approval of it as a sweetener, just prior to going to market.
But now, thanks to a 31 year old Japanese entrepreneur and horticulturist researcher based in Chita, Aichi Prefecture named Mitsuharu Shimamura and some savvy North American horticulturists and fruit fanatics who are becoming Miracle Fruit suppliers to the world, you can sample this amazing fruit at home.
Iâ€™ve compiled a list of companies from which you can purchase Miracle Fruit. Some of the shipping guidelines and timelines might seem strange, but be aware that the fruit is perishable after being picked, and only lasts a couple of days.
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Mitsuharu Shimamura Miracle Fruit
The infamous Mitsuharu Shimamura developed tablets, sold at $3.50 per tablet. Â½ a tablet is more than enough to produce the Miracle Berryâ€™s famous sweetening sensation for a couple of hours.
Papaya Tree Nursery
Located in California, PTN offers plant sales (pick-up only) and sales of the Miracle Fruit Berries. Customers can place advance orders, or order dried fruits from this California Miracle Fruit supplier. The general price is around $35 for 20 fruits, and includes shipping.
Logeeâ€™s are in Connecticut, and offer a unique service. Theyâ€™ll â€œCustom Growâ€ a Miracle Fruit plant â€“ a process that takes as little as 3 months or as long as 9-12 months, depending on time of year, availability and so on. They then ship the plant.
Mr. Mozie sells plants, fruit, and seeds, if youâ€™re feeling ambitious.
Gardino only sells Miracle Fruit Plants.
Pine Island Nursery
Riverâ€™s End Nursery and Farm
Riverâ€™s End sell both the Miracle Fruit plants and the fruit in berry form.
Note that heat will destroy the active ingredient in the Miracle Fruit berry, so you'll be unable to can it, make jam or preserves, bake it or dry it. However, you can hold the fruits for a while by refrigerating them or freezing them.
Let us not imagine what could happen if Miracle Fruit and the world of 2 Girls, 1 Cup met.