Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sweet Prayer, Katemfe--I give up

The Sweet Prayer, aka Katemfe (or Katempfe) or ego, is a Western African plant that is 1500 times sweeter than sugar. But I give up; after looking high and low on the Internet for months, I can't find a supplier of the seeds or plant anywhere. The scientific name is Thaumatococcus daniellii. Apparently some company has synthesized the sweet ingredient thaumatin, but it does not seem to have been commercialized much. For the conspiracy minded, maybe aspartame interests are paying someone off.

In Australia there is an invasive plant they call sweet prayer, but there is some kind of mistake, because they say it is Thaumastochloa danielii which does not show up anywhere on plant indices. It is the correct family Marantaceae, but it appears that the genus is wrong. So if someone in Australia wants to check this out, I would like to have some seeds from this "weed" if it really is sweet prayer.