It was in the 18th century when a French cartographer named Chevalier des Marchais happened upon a group of West African people eating a strange berry. Eaten before meals, the berry managed to improve the flavor of the not entirely appetizing diet of sour cornbread, oat gruel, and palm wine.
It was then that des Marchais discovered that the berry, Synsepalum dulcificum, had the amazing ability to turn sour foods sweet. Better known now as the miracle berry, this fruit is the centerpiece of flavor-tripping parties, and can even help cancer patients with their appetites.
But when we decided to eat this miraculous fruit when we visited dear old Mom and Dad for Thanksgiving, it was because their bland cooking has as much zest as wet cardboard, and we always prefer to take the Guy Fieri convertible to Flavor Town.
Not that we'd ever tell our dear parents that their Thanksgiving spread always tastes like a hippo's ass after a marathon jog. So we decided to pop some miracle berry pills—composed of the active compound on the sly.
Just drop it like a hit of molly, and soon your mouth will be nothing but feels.
In addition to sour foods, miracle berries take the heat out of hot sauce. Beloved sriracha becomes no more noxious than V-8.
Ah, sweet vinegar.
Have a pickle with your cranberry sauce.
Another helping of jalapeños? Don't mind if we do.
This funky sundae was feeling bleu.
If only Granmama made aspic like this!
Spike that cider with a little bit of acetic acid.
Aspic-to-mouth action is never not unseemly.
Mom and Dad just didn't get it.
Sriracha pumpkin pie? We could make a killing on that in Brooklyn.
Seeing our heart-burning abandon, the folks wised up soon enough.
And they were off on a whole new flavor trip of their own.
This post previously appeared on MUNCHIES in November 2015.