Children of Estarri
Also known as liar fruit, this small plant has no taste but can trick the senses of someone who has eaten it (knowingly or unknowingly) for up to 2 hours. They will be unable to experience bitterness. They will only taste what is sweet. As such it is a favorite of assassins as it can mask poison and of con artists who might add it to wine which had vinegared to sell for a higher price.
The red berry which blooms at the center of five petalled flower is sacred to Esta because of its magic, mystery and also its external representation of five pointed star (the flower) and internal representation (the seeds).
__Miracle Berry is based in a real world plant:
Common names: Miracle Berry, Miracle Fruit, Sweet Berry
Scientific name: Synsepalum dulcificum_
Explanation of scientific name:
Synsepalum – from the Greek syn meaning with or together and the Latin sepalum meaning sepal (the leaf-like portion of a flower). The 5 sepals of this plant’s flowers are united above the middle.
dulcificum – from the Latin dulcis meaning sweet or pleasant and ficum meaning fig-like or sweet
Once the fleshy, tasteless pulp coats your tongue, everything you eat for the next few hours or so will taste sweet. Bite into a lemon or a lime and the distinctive flavors of these fruits will be enjoyed, but their sourness will not pucker your mouth. Even a sip of straight vinegar will taste sweet. The basis for this reaction is the presence of miraculin in the fruit of this species. This taste modifying protein does not actually taste sweet, but apparently it binds to receptors of the taste buds, temporarily changing their function. While the taste modifying capabilities of the fruits have been known for over a century, miraculin was only isolated in the early 1970’s. The exact mechanism of action has yet to be elucidated, but is the subject of research, especially for its potential use as an “artificial sweetener”.
Native to West Africa, the Miracle Berry is also known as Miracle Fruit and Sweet Berry. It grows as a small shrub with an appearance similar to an azalea. Its fruits develop from small white flowers. _