Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tasting Something New

Often when I was in the states I would start my morning, spend my day, and close my commute with National Public Radio. A thousand stories must have passed by my ears and obviously I cannot name them all, but one stuck out in my mind. A report about a berry one could eat that would make anything you put in your mouth taste sugary sweet. It sounded neat and my recollection is that parties in NYC would charge people something like five or ten dollars just to taste the berry and then a whole host of foods that ought to taste sour or bitter.

I filed that one away as a neat thing, but today I got to try it out.

We came back to the hub-site to welcome some of the other volunteers who were traveling around the country visiting various sites and at one point in the afternoon I was pretty much all alone. Our security man, Daniel, came up to me with an orange that he had deftly stripped of its rind with a knife. He was giving it to me which was nice, but I told him that I like my oranges sweet and the kind that grow around here are quite sour, almost lemon-like. He told me that they were sweet, or rather he could make them sweet.

He walked 15 paces and there it was, the Miraculous Berry from that NPR story. It is growing right next to the tents that we take our meals under. I had never noticed it before and here is a source of constant sweetness! My taste buds were in for a treat.

You pop the seed of the plant, which is reddish and waxy, into your mouth. The skin is pretty thin and under it there is a soft meat of sorts that you just roll over your tongue for a minute, then spit that seed out and find your choice of fruit to eat.

That orange which I rejected outright was the sweetest version of orange juice that I could get in the U.S. I am so thankful to our security guard for pointing this tree out to me, as apparently it only fruits during this month so the timing was perfect. I wonder if I could sneak this plant back to my mother's house in North Carolina. I just can't believe I didn't see this during all of my training last year.

Just another tasty Sunday here in Ghana.

1 comment:

Vivienne said...

Awesome :)