Miracle Berry Facts

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The miracle berry (Synsepalum dulcificum) also known as miracle fruit was first discovered in 1725 by a European explorer named Chevalier des Marchais. He noted how various tribes were popping miracle fruit berries before they would eat their traditional foods—kankies (cornbread), pitto (palm wine), and guddoe (oatmeal gruel). He tried some and noticed that the berries made these sour foods sweet.

Quick Fact: The berry has been used in West Africa since at least the 18th century, when European explorer Chevalier des Marchais, who searched for many different fruits during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa, provided an account of its use there.

In 1852, a British surgeon, Dr. William Freeman Daniell, described the fruit in a pharmaceutical journal as a "miraculous" berry. However it wasn't until 1919, a notable USDA botanist, David Fairchild first imported several trees into the United States. By 1950's the miracle berry was thriving and being eaten by locals and tourist in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Panama.