Interesante descubrimiento de este nuevo berrie llamado la Fruta Milagrosa (Synsepalum dulcificum)por su poder para cambiar el sabor de las comidas. Esta fruta descubierta en Africa actúa sobre las papilas gustativas alterando el sabor de las comidas hacia comidas mas dulces y comienza a ser usado por numerosos chefs pagándose hasta USD1,8 por fruta.
Miracle fruit′ berry turns sour to sweet by altering taste buds. At a party in Arlington, Va. one recent Friday, Jacob Grier stood on a chair, pulled out a plastic bag full of small berries, and invited everyone to eat one apiece. "Make sure it coats your tongue," he said.Grier's guests were about to go under the influence of miracle fruit, a slightly tart West African berry with a strange property: For about an hour after you eat it, everything sour tastes sweet.Within minutes of consuming the berries, guests were devouring lime wedges as if they were candy.
Straight lemon juice went down like lemonade, and goat cheese tasted as if it was "covered in powdered sugar," said one astonished partygoer. A rich stout beer seemed "like a milkshake," said another.After languishing in obscurity since the 1970s, miracle fruit, or Synsepalum dulcificum, is enjoying a small renaissance. In-the-know food lovers from Hawaii to Finland are seeking out the berry as a culinary curiosity. In Japan, it's freeze-dried and canned or sold in tablets. Some restaurants there have featured it as an avant-garde dessert, including at Tokyo's Mandarin Oriental hotel. So has the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where two miracle-fruit shrubs are planted in the hotel's garden.
Growers like Curtis Mozie of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are racing to keep up with the recent demand. The 63-year-old retired postman has cultivated the slow-growing shrub for a decade, and now says he has hundreds of them at a nursery near his home.Most of the small number of U.S. growers sell cuttings or seeds for chefs or other aficionados to grow their own plants, rather than shipping the highly perishable berries.
After a food lovers' blog called EatFoo, to which Grier contributes, began spreading word in February about Mozie's product, he raised his prices to $1.80 from $1 per fruit.
He ships them overnight, because the red berry - about the size of a grape with a large pit - turns brown and unappetizing within a day or so after it's picked.Scientists say a protein in the fruit works by binding to taste buds and altering the tongue's so-called sweet receptors to activate when sour foods are eaten. A French explorer known as the Chevalier des Marchais first encountered the effects in 1725 somewhere in West Africa, says Adam Gollner, who is writing a book about miracle fruit. The chevalier saw villagers eat the berry before consuming gruel and palm wine, so he gave it a try himself.In 1852, a British surgeon described the fruit in a pharmaceutical journal as a "miraculous" berry.
In the early 20th century, a renowned botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, David Fairchild, was the first person to bring miracle fruit from Africa to the U.S., says Linda Bartoshuk, a professor at the Center for Smell and Taste at the University of Florida.In the 1990s, researchers tried unsuccessfully to alter tobacco plants, yeasts and even E. coli bacteria to produce the same protein, which is one of seven known to have a sweetening effect, but the only one that turns sour to sweet.
Last year, a team of scientists led by Hiroshi Ezura, a professor at Tsukuba University near Tokyo, said they finally succeeded - with lettuce. In a scientific report published in Federation of European Biochemical Societies Letters, the researchers wrote that two grams produce roughly the same effect as one miracle fruit. Ezura, who is collaborating with Inplanta Innovations Inc., a Japanese biotech company, says his team next hopes to develop a genetically modified tomato, possibly for commercial use as a low-calorie sweetener or as an additive for foods targeting diabetics, since it removes the need for sugar.Several miracle-fruit growers in Florida also say cancer patients occasionally seek out the fruit because it reportedly alleviates a metallic taste in the mouth that is one side-effect of chemotherapy. Paul Sherman, 27, who works at a nonprofit group that studies campaign finance, followed his miracle fruit with strawberries and found them "like strawberry-flavored candy ... almost too sweet." It was, he concluded, "the strangest gustatory experience I have ever had in my life."