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Miraculous Berries

Which would you rather have as a dessert: A lemon or a cookie?

Most of us can't take the sourness of the lemon and would choose the cookie but the cookie leaves us with far more calories than a lemon would. Enter the Miracle Fruit, a small red fruit from the Synsepalum dulcificum plant.

Once you've eaten the small red fruit (about the size of a gumdrop), everything sour eaten afterwards tastes incredibly sweet, including sour citrus. The berry's juices affect the tongue for about 30 minutes to an hour and can be washed away with water. There are even cafes in Japan, appropriately called the Miracle Fruits Cafe. They serve up 100 calorie desserts that contain almost no sugar and are unbearably sour, but come with a berry and voila -- You have a sweet, low cal dessert.

From tropical West Africa, it flowers profusely with fruit setting usually during the summer months in northern climates. The berries contain protein miraculin, which stimulates the tongue's taste buds and makes sour food and drinks taste sweet. To have your very own Miracle Fruit Tree ($19.95), visit Logee's Greenhouse.

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