If you read the Times feature about Miracle Fruit — the rare berry that, thanks to a protein called miraculin, tricks your taste buds for about an hour to make sour, acidic food taste sweet — you probably wondered where you could score the stuff so you could throw a “flavor-tripping party,” à la Supreme Commander. Ladies and gentleman, meet Miracle Connect, run by local writers Neel Shah and Amit Chatwani. During a trip to Miami, the duo met a grower who keeps three or four trees and regularly ships some of his berries to them. For the past four months they’ve been dealing to local foodies — they even hooked Gourmet magazine up with a few hundred berries.
Shah tells us that, unlike Internet sites like Miracle Fruit Man, he doesn’t charge for shipping or require large orders — if you contact him via his Website before a Wednesday, he’ll deliver to you by Friday a minimum of six berries at the cost of $3–$4 each.
“Whenever we set up a pickup or drop-off, it almost has a drug-deal vibe to it,” Shah tells us. “People are confused as to whether they’re legal or not. [They are.] They come in a plastic baggie, and we have a business card with our contact info on it.” (Miracle Connect is hiring bike messengers to keep up with increasing demand.)
After you score, you’ll want to either freeze the berries or eat them within a couple of days, or they’ll lose some of their magical powers. We popped a few, and, though they were slightly past their prime, they still took the edge off of Cuervo and made it taste like a complex mescal. A margarita tasted like Cointreau, rather than tart and salty, and the accompanying lime seemed slightly candied when sucked on. The fried pickles at Soho Park tasted something akin to a warm peach tart. We’ll never have to buy top shelf again!
Related: A Tiny Fruit That Tricks the Tongue [NYT]