Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pour Some Sugar On Me

www.leichic.comFairy tale ideas you’ve long since given up on: a land where you never grow up (or – presumably – old), a glass slipper that somehow attracts the most handsome and successful men, and that spoonful of sugar that makes bitter medicine delightful.

Not so fast on that last one.

There is a red berry that can make everything sour taste sweet. It exists. Yes, really.

It’s called miracle fruit, and the small red berries contain a chemical that reacts with your taste buds, causing acids to taste sweet. After eating just one berry, sucking a lemon wedge suddenly tastes like eating a lemon Starburst. The effect lasts anywhere from 20 minutes up to two hours, and it affects only foods that taste sour – salty foods and other flavors are unchanged

Imagine getting your 3 p.m. sugar fix from  half a grapefruit, which suddenly tastes like a sweet ruby orange. Even mildly tart foods like goat cheese or cream cheese taste like cheesecake.

Miracle fruit trees are native to Africa, but because they flourish in humid tropical environments, they grow well in Hawai‘i. Nurseries all over the state grow them and you can easily have one of your own – the trees are happy in a planter living on your lanai. They grow slowly, though, and don’t fruit for a year or two, but once they do, you’ll have berries every few months, all year round.

Meanwhile you can check with nurseries periodically to see if berries are available.

And make plans for your next afternoon happy sour.

Miracle fruit trees are available at Frankie’s Nursery in Waimanalo, 41-999 Mahiku Place, 808.259.8737, www.frankiesnursery.com . The berries alone can be purchased for $1 each when the nursery picks them, every few months throughout the year, depending on when the trees fruit. Trees are also available at Plant It Hawaii, in Kurtistown on the Big Island, 808.966.6633, www.plantithawaii.com

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.


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