Miracle Fruit makes everything tastes sweet

We've been bombarded with plenty of fruits with supposedly magical properties. Fast Company highlighted the wave of Superfruits marketed to consumers who believe in those sort of things. The açaí, the guarana, the goji -- they all have some anti-oxidant, caffeine-like or talismanic properties.

So I skeptically approached a New York Times story on the new miracle fruit. But it turns out that Miracle Fruit is something I can get behind: it isn't supposed to ward off cancer or sleep. It just makes everything taste sweet for an hour or two. (It also turns out the Journal also ran a Miracle Fruit story on it the same day.)

These West African red berries seem to have no common name. It's either the giddy "Miracle Fruit" or the scientific Synsepalum dulcificum. Even the scientists naming the active protein that makes sour things taste sweet got carried away and called it miraculin. The stories both tell of Miracle Fruit parties where people first roll a grape-sized Miracle Fruit around their tongue, then devour and guzzle any nasty tasting thing in sight because it tastes so sweet.