Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Imagine, popping a single small fruit in your mouth, swish its pulp around for a minute, and anything you eat for the next 30 minutes will be sweet. YES, sweet.
That is the magic of Miracle Fruit. Native to West Africa, this small bright red oval fruit, though not sweet itself, seems to reprogram the taste buds to sense sour as sweet.
Lemons, vinegar, sardines, Tabasco, things most of us take in small doses become delightful flavors. Some folks are so enamored with the effects, they host “Flavor-Tripping” parties. Guest are encouraged to partake of a single berry and sample a smorgasbord of odd delicacies, reporting what the taste reminds them of.
The plant, not winter hardy, can be grown indoors in a container. The plant is evergreen, with long deep green leaves. In its native habitat it can reach 18ft. but rarely over 5 ft. otherwise.
It loves high humidity and acid soil. Potting soils high in peat moss and acidifying fertilizers offer the conditions it loves. Use a pot that drains well as Miracle Fruit does not like wet feet. It can be grown outdoors during climate weather in partial shade.
Try this, and other exotic tropical fruits such as Star fruit, White Sapote, and Abiu, available now at Johnson Garden Centers.