What Happened When I Tried A 'Miracle Berry' That Tricks Your Taste Buds

Photo: BLACKDAY / Shutterstock
woman taking pink tablet

I threw a flavor-tripping party this weekend. Nearly everyone I invited showed up, most of them confused and many of them concerned. Only one of my guests had been to a flavor-tripping event, so curiosity levels were high. When a few people asked for clarity on what kind of ‘tripping’ this actually was, I hopped up on the kitchen counter to explain.

Mberry is a tablet that contains a ‘miracle fruit’ that tricks the taste buds. I ordered them from Amazon, and they only last for 30 minutes. The fruit originates from West Africa and contains a glycoprotein called Miraculin which changes the perception of the taste buds. Once the Miraculin binds to the taste receptors, it’s time to trip.

Here's what happened when I tried a 'miracle berry' that tricks your taste buds:

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I handed out the tablets, and we let them dissolve in our mouths while we scoped out the food table.

What I served for the flavor-tripping party

The protein typically causes sour foods to taste sweet.

  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kimchi
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Blackberries
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Vinegar
  • Guinness
  • Cheese
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Strawberries
  • Unripe Mango
  • Raw Onion

Everyone grabbed a paper plate and dug in. People were drinking vinegar out of red solo cups, pounding Guinness like a milkshake, and chewing on raw onion like a cucumber. The rinds of lemons and limes were scattered on the table, and my friend screamed from the kitchen, “dude, the vinegar tastes just like Sprite!”

What we discovered

Flavor tripping turned us into self-proclaimed scientists, and the evening was filled with food experiments. We discovered that cheese and dark chocolate tasted like cheesecake and the blackberries like candy. Grapefruit and strawberries tasted like they were dipped in sugar, and lemons tasted just like lemonade. Raw onions tasted awful, and the kimchi lost its flavor while keeping its spice. Guinness tasted like chocolate and balsamic vinegar like a sugary syrup.

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A friend sulked over to me with chapped lips, complaining that her mouth was on fire after eating so many lemons. We both agreed that it was worth it. Looking around, I could see a few people sank into the couch, holding their stomachs and moaning. Drinking vinegar and gorging on citrus may not have been the best choice for the stomach lining.

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I had bought 50 tablets in preparation for a long night of tripping. However, one was enough for most people (I had two because, well, I wanted to eat more lemons). A few stragglers picked at the Sour Patch Kids and unripe mangoes until we threw a few pizzas in the oven and had a regular party.

While flavor tripping was exciting, I noticed that most people were happy to have had a new experience. Everyone was interacting, even the people who’d never met before. My guests thanked me for introducing them to flavor tripping and taking the time to throw a unique party.

My friends told me that they had a great time, despite sore stomachs. I have 30 miracle tablets left and will probably throw another flavor-tripping event. For now, you can find me in my kitchen, eating more lemons than anyone ever should.

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All photos by Joshua Michael Johnson Photography.

Shannon Ullman is a freelance writer who has been traveling the world for more than 10 years.