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

Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
June 17, 2010 - Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
view the full question and answer

Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
June 20, 2013 - I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
view the full question and answer

Citrus trees for Austin
May 21, 2008 - I am looking for citrus that grows in the Austin,Tx area. Could you offer any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Are there edible nettles native to the Austin, TX area?
September 13, 2011 - Are there any nettles native to this area? I would like to cook with them (if there is a good substitute, please advise). Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in Western Pennsylvania
October 02, 2008 - Can you please give me a list of five edible plants in Western Pennsylvania and the seasons in which they are available?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center