by Myles Tanzer
“Nothing is certain but death and taxes” and, since 2007, “trend pieces about miracle fruit parties.” Oh yes: “The miracle fruit party” is the trend piece that just won’t die, despite that there have likely been more feature stories about miracle fruit parties than there have been actual miracle fruit parties.
The Wall Street Journal went big in 2007 with an A1 story that explained that the berries are “a slightly tart West African berry with a strange property: For about an hour after you eat it, everything sour tastes sweet.” Then NPR couldn’t wait to tell all of their listeners about it. The New York Times waited a full year and first wrote their “berry trend piece” in 2008 with a story called “A Tiny Fruit That Tickles The Tongue.” This part of the article is pretty smutty:
Nearby, Yuka Yoneda tilted her head back as her boyfriend, Albert Yuen, drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: “Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!”
It rolls on and on. All this hot trend action — shouldn’t I have a miracle fruit party myself?
It’s so persuasive! “The new party drug: berries,” wrote the Globe and Mail in 2009. “Every Wednesday night Three Sheets offers to mess up people’s taste buds but good at a ‘flavor tripping party,’” wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution”; “Never before had I seen anyone smile with lemon juice dripping down their face,” wrote the Montreal Gazette, both in mid-2010. And even a few weeks ago: “Miracle fruit berries sweeten sour world” was a recent piece by a “horticulture instructor at Trident Technical College” in the Charleston Post and Courier.
Worried that this trend was in danger of petering out, I decided to take action to save it. I ordered the berries in pill form from Amazon and they arrived within the same week. My group of friends usually congregate on Wednesdays for our usual mid-week slosh-fest so I figured it would be a good day to try them out.
We huddled around my tiny East Village kitchen and “slowly rolled the berries around” in our mouths, just like the package said. I cut up some of our edibles in the mean time.
“I feel like we all just took acid!” one of my friends said. He was right! There was definitely that sense of group experimentation of the unknown that only drugs can give a group of friends. (This drug comparison crops up in about 30% of “miracle fruit” trend stories.)
The zinc-tasting tablets dissolved in a slow cough-drop-like way (not in a fizzy way). We then picked up some fruits from the cutting board and tried our first bites.
The lemon tasted like the sweetest lemonade in the world! The limes tasted just like a slice of Key Lime Pie from a great southern diner! Raspberries were way sweeter than ever before — tartness completely removed. The assortment of sour gummies? Sweetest candy we’d ever tried! (This assertion appears in about 100% of “miracle fruit” trend stories.)
The standout was by far the spoonfuls of cream cheese we eagerly scooped from the container. It tasted like a perfect bite of cheesecake.
The granddaddy of all trends had come and rocked our world. We worshiped at the throne of The Mighty Trend Piece and came out with near bliss. And we can safely say that this magic trend piece will never die, because there’s a need to overshare about it.
A friend had to run quickly to a local bar, No Malice Palice, and immediately texted back: “just had a slice of lime with a Tequila shot. Holy shit!” He tried to explain to his bar friends what was going on but they just thought he was crazy. So thank goodness there are all of these articles out there to convince the non believers.