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It's a Miracle

Side Dishes: Unusual berries now available in Vermont


Chewing on the pulp of a “magic” berry — also called a miracle berry or miracle fruit — makes sour foods taste sweet. Last March, Alice Levitt and I got our hands on a few of the costly, hard-to-find goodies — shipped on ice from California — and hosted a “flavor-tripping” party at our office. Under the influence of the berries, lemons tasted like lemon-drop candies, and wine became sugary syrup.

Thanks to Jeffersonville resident and self-described ski bum Peter Katz, Vermonters now have easy access to mberry brand tablets at Healthy Living in South Burlington. “The tablets have the equivalent of three berries in one,” Katz boasts. “The shelf life is longer.”

As the Northeast regional distributor for the company, Katz plans to pitch the tablets to more stores soon. He says upcoming media attention from “some really big TV shows, some really big personalities,” will boost demand.

While the tablets have obvious appeal as a novelty, Katz insists that’s not all: “It’s something that’s really going to help people.” Among those people: diabetics seeking sweetness without sugar; dieters (the berries are already popular as a weight-loss aid in Japan); and chemo patients. Evidence suggests the berries help them put on weight by eliminating a side effect that causes food to taste metallic.

They may not be a miracle drug, but miracle berries seem to help things go down easier.