miracle fruit

27Feb13

We bought E a plant for Christmas. Not the first gift you’d think of for an eleven-year-old girl, but she was thrilled – because this plant is the coolest.

Shortly after we arrived in Colombia, a new friend came over for dinner, bearing a gift of five small red berries. He told us that these berries would alter our taste buds so that everything would taste sweet. I was skeptical, and a tad worried about poisoning my family with never-wake-up berries, but relented when he told me that they were perfectly safe and that he had tried them himself a number of times (that, and he works for a food science institute – which has to come with some extra credibility in this regard). So, halfway through dinner, we ate them, making sure to mush the pulp all over the insides of our mouths.

IMG_1563

Gah! I almost couldn’t finish my lime margarita. It was sickeningly sweet! Fun, but definitely worth planning our menu accordingly… or at least blending-up a sugarless margarita (no good wasting tequila on a bad margarita).

E’s Christmas plant bore fruit just in time for my sister’s visit. They look sort of sinister, don’t they? Just like the kind of berry you would warn your two-year-old about.

We served lime, lulo, bread, cheese and strawberries.photo 3 (4)

It went well, but not as effective as our first attempt as we had to split two berries among six people (some of us went without). It is far better to have your own berry.

photo 1 (6)

Originally from West Africa, Miracle Plants (or Synsepalum dulcificum) are gaining popularity with diabetics and with trendy folk in New York City (who chip-in for the berries and spend an evening sampling Guinness, pickles, grapefruit and cheese). In 2008, a chef in Ottawa used miracle fruit for a New Year’s Eve party . They come in tablet form as well. This company has the best website (and ships internationally).

It looks as though we have a nice crop coming. Now I just have to source the pickles and Guinness!

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