Worst Miracle Ever

Hello, world. If you’re reading this, it means I lived long enough to finish typing it. But probably I’m dead. At the hands of a cruel dare from my fellow MALabbers. They’re horrible people who disguise themselves as friends. Don’t trust them.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I bought some of those stupid miracle berry tabs. They’re miracle fruit, you see, in a tablet… that you suck on… and then when they’re gone from your mouth, through the magic of science and chemicals—miraculin, to be specific, and even Wikipedia is’t sure how it works so it’s like literally magic—they perform the miracle of making everything in the world taste like delicious candy. So one day you’re all like “What? Who the hell eats mayonnaise with pickes and coffee grounds?” Then you eat a miracle berry and you shove a giant spoonful of pickle-coffee mayo into your mouth and you’re like “OH HOLY SHIT THIS IS WHAT UNICORN DREAMS TASTE LIKE!”

Or at least, that’s what the legend, and my “friends” here at the lab, would have us believe.

Anyway because I have a medical condition that prevents me from eating most anything sweet without horrible GI consequences, I thought “Hey! Wouldn’t it be great if I could have one of these and make a piece of cheese taste like my favorite cake?” See, I’d been told this would happen. So, believing I’d be able to trick myself into believing I was eating cakes, I ordered a pack of miracle fruit tablets. They’re supposed to work exactly the same as miracle fruit, but in a shelf-friendly tablet form.

So, one day, I’m craving some delicious dessert and I’m like “OH FUCK! LIGHTBULB! I HAVE MIRACLE FRUIT TABS ON MY SHELF! I’M GOING TO EAT SO MUCH PIE VINEGAR!”

I grabbed the pack, popped a tab in my mouth… sucked and sucked and sucked and like 4 hours later, I WAS READY!!

The results were unimpressive, so I sent this should-have-been-more-scathing email to the Mad Art Lab team:

So I bought some of those miracle fruit tabs and decided to try one.

After rolling it around in my mouth for like 10 minutes waiting for it to dissolve, I’ve flared up my TMJ and now it hurts to talk. Or chew. Or anything else that involves moving my face or head.

The effects lasted for about three minutes and were mostly unremarkable.

Unsweetened chocolate tasted like dark chocolate. Sour cream tasted like ice cream that went bad a month ago. Cholula tasted like Cholula. Coffee tasted like coffee. Red pepper cheddar cheese tasted exactly like red pepper cheddar cheese. Then unsweetened chocolate tasted like that 90%+ cocoa.

And then I was out of room in my body for any more bites of food.

The end.

And that was when they decided it was time to trick me into self-murder.

Crush them up, make a paste, they said. It will work better.
Write a post, they said. Compare the two experiences. YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT! LIKE CANDY ICE CREAM COOKIE PIE CUPCAKES!
Take some pictures for us. We demand it. BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU! IT WILL BE GREAT!

So today, I got my new vitamins in the mail. And I popped one into my mouth and I was like “OH SWEET BABY JESUS HOW DO YOU MAKE SOMETHING TASTE SO AWFUL?” (Because yes, I am a grownup who eats chewable vitamins. Don’t judge me.) And then I remembered that I had THE TABS [insert: rainbow swipe]. And it’s Friday. And I’m bored. And this could be the thing that saves the world from a vitamin-bad-tasting epidemic. And I’m bored. Like seriously bored.

I take the half-step trek from one end of my kitchen to the other, and open my Cabinet of Hope, pop a tab between my teeth and make a paste of tablet and fresh-from-my-tongue-tap saliva. I swish and swish and grind my tongue against the tablet like drunk 16 year olds at prom. This, my friends, is the moment I was sure would change my life forever. And it did… in much the same way that drunk 16 year old’s life changed when he realized he had a giant boner and the lights went on.

Except that, I imagine, a boner feels kinda good. A miracle fruit tab tastes kind of… not that good.

Photo 2013-05-17 03.06.41 PM


But there’s a reward. And I knew if I could just get through this tab, everything would be the best. A couple of minutes of unpleasant is worth it.

And then the tab melting was over. And it was CHOCOGASM TIME! The reckoning was upon us… well, upon me… and it was going to be great! Because this time I totes did it right. “Everything is going to taste like MIRACLES!” I said to no one… because I was standing alone in my kitchen… because about to shove awful-tasting food into my mouth… which is something you only do while alone… to avoid embarrassment… before you post the experience onto the internet.

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I grabbed a big ass chunk of unsweetened dark chocolate and… it tasted kind of like a-little-bit-sweetened dark chocolate. I didn’t take a photo of my reaction because there was nothing to take a picture of. I was unimpressed. Not wholly disappointed. It tasted fine. Exactly like it did the first time I attempted this stupid experiment.

Ok… but sour cream. Sour turns sweet. That’s the promise. So, sour cream will taste like sweet cream… not like rancid ice cream. Like sweet whipped cream. With the texture of melting whipped butter. I cannot regret this. It’s not possible. See? See how excited I was? (where excited=fucking terrified)


Photo 2013-05-17 03.06.47 PM

Photo 2013-05-17 03.06.45 PM


So at first, not actually so bad. It’s sweet. Like whipped cream.

And then the sour kicks in. And suddenly it tasted like whipped sour cream.

Now, I like sour cream. And I like whipped cream. I do not like the flavor of these two in one single bite and texture. So now I’m sad. Because this experiment is not turning out the way I wanted it to. And when it doesn’t go the way I want it to, the only one that suffers is me. But next up is Cholula. And seriously, I’ve been known to eat this shit by the bottle. Like soup. With a spoon. Because it’s the best stuff on earth. So even if Cholula tastes exactly like Cholula, I CANNOT lose. I can’t. I can only win. That’s it. There’s one possible outcome.

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And then this happened:

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“WHAT IS HAPPENING? I DON’T KNOW! Just keep shooting! Just keep shooting! Don’t stop! We’re going to get all of this! All of it! This is important. DO NOT STOP SHOOTING!” Photo 2013-05-17 03.06.59 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.01 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.03 PM



I don’t know what happened. I was eating the greatest condiment on earth and within a half a second all I could think about how I hate my fucking life so much, but that was okay because it was about to be over. But then it wasn’t over. And that was the worst part, having to go on, and never being able to take back the Cholula incident.

And, in a darkness-before-dawn epiphany, I remembered I still have those horrible vitamins that inspired me to eat baking chocolate, sour cream and cholula in the first place… I was doing it for the vitamins. To make vitamins so great I’d be willing to eat them. So maybe? MAYBE? MAAAAAAAAYBE this will work?


Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.05 PM


Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.07 PMNo.

Then I was driven to a depression that could only be erased by the power of alcohol. So, I poured myself a glass of wine. Cheers! This experiment sucks.



Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.10 PM

Oh right… remember that Cholula thing from not even 2 minutes ago?

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Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.16 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.18 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.20 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.22 PM


Jesus. I cannot even explain to you how fucking awful that wine was. That was the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth and I just finished eating a spoonful of rancid hot sauce to wash down rancid whipped cream. My life cannot get worse at this point. Like someone could come into my apartment and start lighting everything I love on fire and I would be all “Thank god you’re here, making everything better.”


So what’s even left besides cutting my mouth out of my face? Coffee. Coffee will be good no matter what. It will either be black, the way I like it… or it will be sweet, the other way I like it. AAAAAAAND:


Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.24 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.29 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.31 PM Photo 2013-05-17 03.07.32 PM


Disappointing. And that’s really the most I could even ask for at this point. Disappointing coffee was totally welcome.

And with that, I had to quit. Because I couldn’t afford to try anything else. I really just wanted to go vomit and die and write this… and I guess I accomplished at least some of that.

Lessons we learned:

  • Miracle berries are a sham.
  • Mad Art Labbers give terrible advice.
  • It is entirely possible to take a selfie while dry heaving into the garbage disposal.

The end.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. My miracle-berry experience was that sour things taste sweet, but bitter things were completely unaffected. I got no effect on coffee, chocolate, etc. But lemons and limes tasted like candy. I even tried some vinegar: it was incredibly sweet while still burning the back of my throat. It didn’t occur to me to try wine … I wish I had thought of that. Sounds terrible, but I still want to try a sip just to see.

    Apparently the miraculin is ultimately washed off by saliva, so I’m told that to make it last longer than a few minutes you’re supposed to try to minimize saliva when you’re first applying the stuff to your tongue.

    Your dedication to documenting your experience even while dry-heaving is inspiring. FOR SCIENCE!

  2. This was hilarious!

    The one time I tried miracle fruit, it had absolutely no effect on me, other than the berries themselves tasting kind of nasty. I know they were potent, because most of my friends tasting with me were ooh-ing and aah-ing over how awesome lemons tasted after eating the berries. At the time I was disappointed, but I should have been glad it didn’t end up like this!

  3. You can now take your honored place in the history of self-experimentation. Have you tried drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth? It tastes AMAZING!

  4. You did not mention the tablet brand you used? slightly relevant…Miracle fruit is no sham that’s why the native tribes in Ghana, Africa have used it for thousands of years, my girlfriend is from Ghana she would tell you all about it.

    I’ve used the tablets and berries and all the people at our dining event loved it. If it was a sham the Japanese administration would not of used it as an organic sweetener in commercial food and drink products like Sodas and they would not have Cafe’s out there dedicated to the Miracle berry. If you eat 99% Cocoa dark chocolate it will taste like Brownies. Whilst everyones taste buds are different (and some people need to clean their palate) i’ve owned a plant for many many years and not one person has said to me it didn’t work. Many diabetics and people trying to encourage kids onto fruits and vegetables loved it aswell as dieters.

    The miracle berry is everything Artificial sweeteners industralised in commercial products are not.

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