Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 26 - Math and Miracle Fruit

A lot of this unit on Solar Energy is learning the basics of calculating energy needs, battery storage capacity, wiring, and how to hook it all up. It's interesting, but I think only Brian and my dad would make it through a post about it. Tomorrow I will run through the calculations that we used to install a PV System over at the Yurt, where Keith the Chef lives. While I don't quite feel confident to go out and put a system together for myself, I have a much greater understanding for how it all works.

With that put off until tomorrow, how about miracle fruit? I definitely always thought the miracle fruit was beans, because the more you eat the more you.. something or other. However, I had never seen these things before and was definitely a little wary of the oblong red berries. The tree here on the farm had a small crop, only about 10 or 15 berries total. They are roughly the size of a vitamin capsule and blood red. When Tara, one of the interns, said that there are parties in New York featuring Miracle Fruit I didn't know what to think!

The berry itself is virtually flavorless with a large seed in the middle. Where was the big bang?

The realization hit when I hesitantly licked a sour orange slice. Sour orange is like a seville orange, not very tasty but good in a gin and tonic if you have no lime. One lick and I had the whole slice in my mouth, it was like pure honey. I ate so much sour and weird stuff that I gave myself a tummy ache, but it was so interesting to see how your tastebuds can fool you!

The grapefuit was like candy..
The smoky roasted flavor of my coffee came through what would usually be bitter.. Wild.

According to the Wikipedia:
The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin.[5][6] When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. While the exact cause for this change is unknown, one hypothesis is that the effect may be caused if miraculin works by distorting the shape of sweetness receptors "so that they become responsive to acids, instead of sugar and other sweet things".[3] This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours.
It lasted for about an hour. Some particularly acidic or sour things tasted so sweet I could barely eat them. Overall, I'd say there has to be something there for dieters.. I definitely didn't crave chocolate or ice cream, at least for a few hours.

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