Author: Allison LeCain
The 21st century has unveiled many interesting trends.Â Some slightly strange, such as planking. Others were not for everyone, such as jeggings, but thereâ€™s one that will leave your taste buds speechless.
A new food trend, referred to as â€œflavor tripping,â€ involves dissolving a small tablet on the tongue that alters the way taste buds react to sour foods.Â These tablets are made from Miracle Berries.Â Once dissolved, all bitter and sour foods will taste sweet. Lemon juice becomes lemonade and tequila no longer has that bitter aftertaste of alcohol.
Kendall Greenwood, 21-year-old junior journalism student, and Kole Kostelic, 20-year-old junior fine arts student at Colorado State University, tried the Miracle Berry tablets and described their experiences.Â Lime and grapefruit were no longer sour. Dark chocolate became sweet like milk chocolate, and even cheap beer tasted better.
â€œIt was kind of mind blowing because you take this pill thing and then you go to eat a lime and you think itâ€™s going to be really sour, but it tastes really good,â€ Greenwood said.Â â€œThatâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve ever enjoyed eating a lime, lemon or grapefruit.â€
While the tablet is altering taste buds, it does not change the way the userâ€™s tongue feels.Â The affects arenâ€™t noticeable until consumption of food.
Garrett Christensen, 21-year-old junior fine arts student at CSU, experienced flavor tripping while sampling just about everything in his refrigerator.Â He said oranges and apples tasted amazing, cheddar cheese tasted like cheesecake, and hot sauce tasted like syrup.
While the tablets change the way the tongue experiences food, the user will still feel the traditional tingle from sour food on the lips and the inside of their cheeks.Â Nonetheless, one Miracle Berry tablet provides a flavor-tripping experience that will last about an hour.
â€œWhen you taste the things you had after the effect’s worn off, then you really notice the difference it makes,â€ Christensen said.
How it works
Synsepalum dulcificum, more commonly known as the Miracle Fruit Plant, was first discovered in 1725 in West Africa.Â The plant has berries that contain a common sugar substitute, miraculin.Â When eaten, the miraculin molecule sticks to taste buds, which is what causes any sour food to taste sweet.Â While the reason for this response is not known for sure, it is thought that the miraculin in the berry distorts receptors in taste buds, acting as a sweetness inducer to acidic foods, according to The New York Times. Naturally in the form of a small, red berry, Miracle Fruit itself is perishable. Â Products such as â€œMiracle Frootiesâ€ have been made by drying the pulp of the fruit to create a tablet that dissolves, according to the production company, Miracle Fruit World.Â â€œMiracle Frootiesâ€ can be purchased in a box of 10 on Amazon.com for $13.95.
â€œItâ€™s crazy that something that naturally comes from the earth can inhibit your senses,â€ Kostelic said.
Note: Garrett Christensen is a designer for College Avenue Magazine.