En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 15, 2013

From: New York, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants
Title: Red berry that changes the taste of other foods
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, your site is fantastic. I heard from a friend that he tried a red berry in Florida which when eaten change the taste of other foods eaten afterwards. He ate a lemon after trying that berry and the lemon tasted sweet. Thank you in advance for the answer

ANSWER:

When I read your question I thought to myself "That's going to be a tough one!"   As it turns out, my very first Google search ("red berry changes taste") brought up this article from the NY Times, May 28, 2008, The Miracle Fruit, a Tease for the Taste Buds.  The article describes the effects of eating a West African fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum.  There are several common names, e.g., Miracle Fruit and Miracle Berry, and there is a Florida company that is promoting and selling the fruit and products made from it as Dulci Berry.  Apparently, the fruit itself doesn't have a particularly appealing taste, but it contains a protein called miraculin that binds to the tongue and makes sour substances taste sweet.  You can read more about the effect in Miracle Fruit Sensation Is a Trip for Taste Buds, Not Brain, Scientists Say from the April 1, 2009 Cornell Daily Sun.  You can also find more sources of information on the internet by searching using its scientific name or one of its common names.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Edible plants beginning with I, T, X and Z in Colorado
March 26, 2009 - My friend would like to know a fruit or vegetable that he would plant in his garden and come back yearly. The plants would have to start with the letters I,T,X, & Z. It has to be edible, of course.
view the full question and answer

Is cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) edible?
December 21, 2012 - I found a post here about cenizo leaves being used for tea, but I'm wondering if the leaves of the cenizo are edible? I have found many recipes for 'brown butter sage' leaves (sauteed often with on...
view the full question and answer

Texas plants useful to early settlers
June 05, 2012 - I'm working on some interpretation for a prairie heritage trail in SE TX (near Houston). I'd like to know where I can find some good information on plant remedies which might have been used by early...
view the full question and answer

Odor and flavor of oils in Mints as insect repellants
December 19, 2005 - I am trying to find information on "How does mint plants repel insects" It's for my grand daughter's science project. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you
view the full question and answer

Identifying a plant similar to sarsaparilla
September 04, 2011 - I am trying to identify a plant that looks very similar to sasparilla, but has a ring of blue berries at the end of a long stalk, and the plant itself is spreading, not an isolated herb like sasparill...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center