This month our featured fruit is Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum. Regular readers may recall my prediction that the stress caused by Hurricane Irma would result in a profusion of flowers and fruit in some species, and can see the result on our prized Miracle Fruit near our visitor’s entrance. This beauty is loaded with juicy, bright red, jelly bean sized fruit. The amazing fruit has the ability to change the way we taste foods, masking sour or bitter flavors to reveal only the sweet components. This temporary effect lasts about one hour. The truly wondrous aspect of this effect is its ability to improve the quality of life for people who have lost the ability to taste due to accident or illness, and also for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. We tend to take our senses for granted; our sense of taste not only gives us pleasure, it has an influence on our nutrition—and therefore our health.
Here at the Fruit and Spice Park, our Miracle Fruit champion is Iva Hegg, Guest Service Representative and expert tour guide. Iva has made it her personal mission to make sure anyone that could benefit from Miracle Fruit knows about it, saying “I believe God gave us everything we need, we just have figure it out”. In fact, Iva has almost forty success stories so far, temporarily restoring a guest’s sense of taste simply by eating a Miracle Fruit prior to trying one of our tasty tropical fruits from the sampling table. This happened quite by accident one afternoon when a guest told Iva of the amazing result of a chance sampling. Since then, Iva has brought joy to many who thought they would never taste again to experience the sublime glory of a ripe mango or sugary goodness of a sapodilla.
Recommended foods to try with Miracle Fruit.
- Limes (especially key limes) or Lemons
- Strong cheeses
- Stout or Porter
- Anything tart but with a sweet component