Nope, I am not referring to a silent and celibate fruit. Just a really sweet one!
Monk fruit, also called luo han guo and Siraitia grosvenorii, is a type of fruit native to China and Thailand that has been used for medicinal and sweetening purposes for centuries.
Its been available as a sweetener in North America for some time, but still doesn't seem to have caught main-stream awareness yet.
I have tasted things where its used as a sweetener, but never bought the sweetening products itself until recently, because they used to be so expensive. But the price seems to be coming down, probably due to growing demand.
So far, there is no evidence that it has any side-effects and actually has health benefits, it is zero calorie, and will not raise blood sugar (is safe for diabetics!). The research I checked out was actually quite impressive! As usual, we folks in the West are slow to catch on to all sorts of goodies they've been using in the East for ions.
I bought the Krisda brand because I like their products (they make lots of stevia products) and they are Canadian.
The sweetener is granular, kind of looks like unrefined sugar, rather than a powder, like most stevia products. Unlike stevia, this one has no after-taste that I could detect, however, I also don't find it as sweet as sugar.
In case I haven't convinced you yet, quitting sugar is really something you should do. It doesn't matter what form it comes in or what fancy name a company puts on the label, if it spikes blood sugar, it will harm your health. So this includes corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave, brown sugar, organic sugar, sucanat, dried cane syrup, brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, and more.
If you are dead-set against artificial sweeteners and don't like stevia, I suggest you try monk fruit, and stick to using it, or coconut sweeteners, which are much lower on the glycemic index. Ditch the sugar!!