Little House In Ise

A Miracle Fruit Flavor Trip in Tokyo!
September 28, 2008, 21:58
Filed under: Expat, Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been hearing about “Miracle Fruit” for a few months now and from the first story about these things, my whole family has wanted to give them a try. If you haven’t heard about them, they are weird and fun. The things are little red berries that you suck on for a few minutes. After spitting out the seed, other foods taste better. Apparently, your mouth becomes coated with a protein that reacts with acidic (sour) flavors and sends a sweet signal to your taste buds, effectively changing the flavor of what ever you eat in subtle and not-so subtle ways.

I googled for miracle fruit in Tokyo and found a place that had some. The whole family decided on the spot that we had to go try some the next day. So, off we went to the Sunshine City building in Ikebukuro. On the second floor of the building is an amusement area called Namja Town and, in one of the food courts in Namja Town, is the “Miracle Fruits Cafe” (ミラクル フールツ カフェ). Finally!

The menu is mostly curries (the Thai Red wasn’t bad) but they encourage people to try the fruit _after_ eating from the regular menu. The theory is that hot foods tend to wash the miracle protein away more quickly so it is a waste. The cafe serves a bunch of very sour deserts that become sweet after swirling the fruit in your mouth.

So, how did it work? Pretty well, but in a way, the atmosphere of the place made the experience disappointing. We wanted to try a bunch of different foods but the best we could find at the shop was the Jikenshitsu Pureito (Laboratory plate). Lemons were deliciously sweet, I found that vinegar was tasty but just about everything else seemed just kinda, so-so. I think the key to enjoying miracle fruit is to have more samples and more fruit and then really give it a good go.

For the record, the following were either interesting or excellent:
Sudachi (a lime look-alike but taste-different citrus fruit)
Vinegar (drink it straight!)
Ume-boshi (pickled plum)

The following were of no interest all:
Tomato juice (V8 — ick!)
Aojiru (green stuff, excreted from a vegan’s blender)

That said, the one thing I really wanted to try was tequila. I have heard that after using miracle fruit a cheap (Mike, for you, “moderately priced”) tequila can taste like a good anejo. So, what would a little Don Julio 1942 be like, heaven in a glass?

Anyway, the fruit cost 250 yen a piece in the shop but you can buy a bag of five for 1200 yen (woo, 50 yen off!). We bought two bags and will try them on Thanksgiving when my sisters in law and their families come to visit. I think we can line up some more interesting things to sample than that cafe!


3 Comments so far
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This is so cool! I’m so glad I found this blog entry through google. I’ve been curious about the miracle fruit for so long, and I’m going to Japan in a couple of weeks – so I’ll get the opportunity to visit this fun café, hopefully. But I also really want to find a place I can just buy the tablets.

Comment by Keena

Not sure where you will be visiting from but these things are pricey here. My bet is that if you are coming from a big city in the US (maybe Europe to?) you can probably fnd them cheaper there. That said, I think the trick is to buy a handful and keep using them from time to time throughout the meal. Drinks do tend to wash the stuff away so “refilling” helps. I hope you enjoy your trip!


Comment by Eric Holcomb

I recommend making a limon grapfruit smoothy, the perfect miracle fruit drink

Comment by Daisy Abreu

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