Since Zug.com died a rather abrupt death, I figured I should mirror my work here. Also, this way I can pretend they’re new updates. Excuse the terrible formatting, I felt like putting in effort to fix it would be an insult to the original work. Also, I didn’t want to put in effort.
After taking a sabbatical lasting a couple millennia, miracles are making a big comeback. Miracles seemed poised to re-take the world by storm in 1980, after the Soviet Olympic hockey team was defeated by the United States. Unfortunately, it appeared that miracles just weren’t able to keep the momentum going.
However, we appear to be on the cusp of a true miracle renaissance. Possibly the most important evidence for this claim is that miracles were recently the subject of an in-depth dissection by noted philosophers the Insane Clown Posse. In this mind-blowing treatise, the very concept of what truly makes a “miracle” was rocked to its very core.
No longer are we able to offer simple scientific reasons to explain the phenomena of the existence of giraffes, why a son resembles his father, or the mystical properties of magnetic attraction. As it turns out, these, along with a multitude of other examples in our everyday lives, are actually miracles.
If the miracles already mentioned aren’t enough to, as they say, “shock ya eyelids,” then perhaps you are one of the many who prefer their miracles to be a bit more mind-blowing.
Enter the Miracle Berry.
These little wonders are also often referred to as Miracle Fruit. But I don’t, so therefore we will ignore that name from here on out.
Yeah, I’m not too impressed either.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t pay attention to potentially interesting yet not that interesting oddities, you have already heard of the Miracle Berry. It has the power to potentially alter the tastes of certain foods, making sour and bitter foods taste sweet. I already have three italicized words in this paragraph and don’t want another simply for the aesthetics, but pretend “potentially” in that last sentence was also in italics.
These wondrous little berries are from the plant of some, uh, plant and have interesting properties as a result of their, uh … hold on.
Jeez, even Wikipedia is stumped. Apparently the best scientific guess is that they are, in fact, a miracle.
One popular thing to do with Miracle Berries is to have “Flavor Tripping Parties.” These parties, which I’m genuinely surprised isn’t mentioned on Stuff White People Like, involve getting together and eating lemons.
Now, I know nothing about these parties from experience, but that does not sound like the makings of a wild time. Instead, I prefer my way: sitting by myself eating a large quantity of questionable foods while my brother takes pictures. That seems a lot more … hmm, “normal” doesn’t seem to fit there. I’ll probably come back and edit that last sentence with a more appropriate term.
There is way too much sexual innuendo going on for a package of compressed fruit powder.
I wound up splitting my “party” into two nights. With some of the bizarre, spicy, and conflicting foods I was about to eat, I thought it best to give my digestive system a short break. Unfortunately, I wound up eating all the bizarre, spicy, and conflicting foods on the first night.
But let us not waste any more time, I know what you’re here for: the miracles! So now, on to the main event.
It’s a good thing Miracle Berries have interesting properties, because the taste would not be a good selling point. They have a vaguely fruity taste, but lean much more to the “natural” side of a “natural fruit snack” flavor.
You’re supposed to let the berry tablet sit on your tongue, dissolving and coating your taste buds. It’s like the world’s lamest tab of acid.
Once the berry was absorbed, it was time to dig in. I had bought a ton of food, in an attempt to experience as many miracles as possible.
Salt and Vinegar Chips:
I went with Popchips, because they have a much stronger vinegar flavor than other chips. The fact that the berry even put a dent in the vinegar was impressive; instead of an intense vinegar taste, it was instead a mildly sweet flavor. Which immediately raises the question: is that a good thing? In this case, let’s just say it’s an interesting thing.
My acidophilus levels were feeling a bit low, so I moved onto yogurt. This transformation was great, the weird tang of yogurt replaced by an incredibly smooth sweetness. I thought it tasted like vanilla yogurt, but that could just be my lazy way of saying it was sweet and didn’t taste like fruit.
I’ll drink straight lemon juice from time to time, to teach my canker sores a lesson in responsibility. However, this was flat out amazing, literally the best lemonade I’ve ever had in my life.
To find out if the Miracle Berry works on salty like it does on sour, beef broth seemed like the ideal candidate. In short: no, it does not. I like drinking the broth from Cup O’ Noodles as much as the next guy (as long as the next guy really likes it), but seeing as this can came out of the refrigerator, it made for a very un-refreshing beverage.
The taste wasn’t changed at all, but on the bright side it did help me get 15% of a serving of fruits and vegetables.
After the disgusting beef broth failure, I don’t know why I bothered. But the can was on the table, and since I went to that incredible amount of effort, I figured I had to. There was no change, and frankly I was glad. I have no desire to drink sweetened chicken broth.
I love sauerkraut; it’s a great food to eat by itself, especially in social situations. There’s just something off-putting about it. The brine was changed significantly, which turned it into a creepy sweetened cabbage salad.
I would have preferred fresh garlic — as horrifying as it might be to eat the stuff raw, it’d be better than this jarred slop. The berry did seem to take some of the edge off, but it was still no match for the grotesque taste.
I went with the George Costanza method, eating it like an apple. Like the garlic, it took off a bit of the harsh edge, but still … it’s a raw onion. What can you do?
I hate sour cream. The friendly folks at every Taco Bell ever know this, which is why they find it so hilarious when I ask for no sour cream. They know my timid request will not stop them from piling it on my food by the ladleful. However, the Miracle Berry did improve the taste significantly; the sour cream was closer to a tangy, sweet yogurt.
Nothing happened. Except the inherent joy of eating string cheese.
Like sour cream, I hate Muenster cheese. I was hoping the Miracle Berry would change my perception, and turn it into a cheese I could enjoy. It didn’t, and I still hate Muenster cheese.
As exciting as the string cheese. It still tasted good, at least.
This was the one cheese where I could taste a big difference. Even though I actually like Swiss cheese, a good description of its smell and taste is “feet-esque.” The berry completely removed the feety quality, giving the cheese an extremely smooth taste.
Even though I like it, every time I see the phrase “goat cheese,” I get mildly nauseated. I don’t even know if “goat milk cheese” is much better, as surely my issue is with the word “goat.” That said, this was amazing. The cheese tasted like cream cheese frosting. I would have devoured the entire package if I didn’t have more food to move on to.
If you’ve ever thought “I’d like a dirty martini, but I could also go for an after-dinner dessert cocktail,” the solution is here. The olives had a balance of sweet and bitter, but it was an awful balance where neither flavor tasted good. The olive juice was no better, tasting like simple syrup stirred into seawater.
The only time in my life that I’ve ever liked sweet pickles was when I was five and got the card set that came in the green plastic bus. The actual food is disgusting. Unfortunately, the berry did its job, turning delicious dill pickles into their mutated cousin.
Words won’t come close to doing this justice. The berry turned balsamic into a beverage that you could sip more smoothly than red wine. I might just start taking Miracle Berries so I can drink this from the bottle in public. It would do a great job of finally cementing my status as “weird guy in the corner that no one wants to talk to.”
This was one of the few things that was made worse by the Miracle Berry. It tasted like something you’d see on an Anthony Bourdain show, like when he’s eating some animal corpse that’s been fermenting in a barrel for a decade. Simply awful.
Horseradish Deli Mustard
I wouldn’t want to use the post-berry mustard on a sandwich, since it was steered into insanely sweet territory. It would be like putting marmalade on a ham and Swiss. Although at least it wouldn’t have those creepy orange rind pieces.
This might have been the most sinister of all the foods I tried. The initial taste was overwhelming sweetness, so I thought it was fine to squeeze an entire packet into my mouth. Then my sinuses were assaulted with the hydrogen bomb-like effects of wasabi. On the plus side, I won’t get a stuffy nose for the next decade.
Named after The Banana Splits, which was the favorite show of the food anthropologist who discovered the peppers, banana peppers are the friendly cousin of the jalapeno. These were actually really good, since the hotness still cut though the mildly sweet pepper flavor.
I always think Tabasco is less spicy than it really is, since I usually have four eggs diluting the spiciness. You might not be aware of this, but when you pour a shot of hot sauce directly into your mouth, it is actually spicier than when you have a little bit on your breakfast.
This fact was fully reinforced when the wave of bizarrely sweet fire rushed over my tongue, and eventually my digestive system. Which was really angry with me after tonight.
The only use I have ever known for white vinegar is making Easter egg dye. I still have no idea what it’s used for, since the label only suggests using it as a metal cleaner. Yum!
The berry had NO effect, and this was without a doubt the worst thing in this entire experiment. I had to call it a night.
On the morning after the Vinegar Incident, I did that thing where you yawn and it splits a little where your upper and lower lips meet. Why am I telling you this disgusting fact? So you can understand why it was just a tad uncomfortable to fit an entire wedge of acidic fruit in my mouth. It was worth it though, because like the lemon juice, this was simply amazing. It was like a melted Great White ice pop.
The only time I’ve ever really liked fresh limes is in gin. So while the Miracle Berry’s effect on the lime was significant, it just tasted like a very sweet lime, not a flavor I was in love with. I loved it, I just wasn’t in love with it.
One of my favorite fruits. Mostly because I’m too lazy to cut them up, so the infrequency of my eating them increases their desirability. They’re also great for you, since they are very high in lycopene. And who doesn’t love the taste of lycopene? The Miracle Berry did its job well on grapefruits, turning a sour but pleasant-tasting fruit into a sweet and awesome-tasting fruit.
You know how when you slice up oranges for a snack, you always like to sprinkle the slices with brown sugar and dip them in maple syrup? Oh, you don’t do that … because it’s disgusting, you say? I agree, which is why the ridiculously sweet orange wound up being kind of gross.
Remember way back when I was talking about how the oranges tasted, and implied that the Miracle Berry made an already sweet fruit even more sweet, resulting in an undesirable taste? Pineapples, being a vastly superior fruit to oranges, avoided this fate. Granted, they too were super-sweet, but somehow it worked better for the pineapple.
Granny Smith Apples
I actually know people who eat these as a snack, and to me that’s just as weird as eating a raw turnip. To be fair, I’ve never found sour things enjoyable; as a kid, for instance, I never liked sour Warheads. (Hot Warheads, on the other hand, were awesome.) The Granny Smith benefited greatly from the Miracle Berry … while it wasn’t apple pie sweet, it was like a slightly sweeter Golden Delicious.
No change whatsoever. Move along.
Until I first tried them a few months back, the only thing I knew about kumquats was their vaguely obscene name, and that there was a kumquat tree in Day of the Tentacle. They’re a little citrus fruit that you eat whole (except the seed), and taste sort of like an orange-lemon hybrid. The Miracle Berry worked very well on them, taking off the bitter edge. It didn’t improve the name.
I used one of the darkest chocolates I could find without it being unsweetened. Usually, anything over 70% dark is like biting into a piece of tree bark, though with less fiber. The berry didn’t offer any sweetness to the chocolate, but it did remove most of the bitterness.
Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder
Despite my brilliant hypothesis, this did not taste like a spoonful of Quik. It just tasted like dirt. Well, to be fair, unsweetened chocolate dirt.
Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Milk
I learned two things here. One, the addition of milk did not help matters. Two, cocoa powder, unlike chocolate milk mix, does not dissolve in milk. It turned into a “Homestyle” version of chocolate milk.
This is a green powder filled with all sorts of nutrients, that you can mix with other beverages to make a healthy yet disgusting beverage. I thought the Miracle Berry might remove the bitterness and overall noxious taste. Nope. It looked like a lemonade made by throwing a lemon in some sludge water. A lemon, actually, would have helped.
One interesting thing about the Miracle Berry is not just its power to flip sourness backwards, but also to amplify sweetness. Also interesting was that the honey’s sweetness level reached a bracket of sweetness that might actually require a new word to be created, since “sweet” just doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Maybe “swirt” or “swooty.”
Cocoa Porter Beer
I should have done this from the start.
I figured a porter would work best, since they’re bitter. This could also be completely inaccurate, since most beers are unappealing to me. However, after the Miracle Berry, this was diabolically good. The cocoa highlights of the beer turned this into a chocolate soda. So for all you parents who gripe that your children don’t appreciate good beer, here’s a good way to get them started.
|After trying the Miracle Berry, my feelings on the fruit boil down to a single fact: it is definitely an experience worth trying. No, it won’t alter your mind and open your brainbox to new flavors. Grapes won’t taste like snozzberies, and carrots won’t taste like Skittles.
It is tough to describe in words how weird it can be when a food’s taste you’ve known your entire life is suddenly, drastically altered. There is a huge connection between expectations and the actual taste. If any of the steps in the expectation-to-taste process are changed, it’s a bizarre experience.
|Brightly colored foods always taste better.|
|I get upset when people expect me to think white mint chocolate chip ice cream will taste as good as green. Fun fact: it doesn’t. So when I drink a shot of straight lemon juice that tastes sweeter and better than most beverages in the supermarket, it’s definitely a weird and worthwhile experience. Maybe Insane Clown Posse was right: it is a miracle.|
If you have already forgotten everything I’ve said, probably the most important thing to remember if you do try Miracle Berries: try the white vinegar. It’s fantastic.