July 6, 2009

I was reluctant to get on the açaí bandwagon.  It seemed like an unimportant fad in the US before we left, something that I could absolutely pass up.  Even now, where there are juice stands (sucus) on literally every corner, I still haven’t stopped in for a juice.  The thing I found most intriguing were cups that people were walking away with, filled with a slushy looking chocolate sorbet.  What I learned today, after buying this

IMG_0047in the freezer at the supermarket–a  little tub of açaí with banana, served with a tiny spoon, a capsule of honey and a little packet of granola, I realized it’s the same thing.  It happens to be totally delicious–berry flavored mostly, with the herbal qualities of a tea, sort of, and in this frosty form, I’m totally into it. Plus the packaging is super cute.  I’ll have to try the real thing at the juice bar tomorrow.

After 20 seconds on wikipedia (a little bit more because now my computer unfortunately searches in Portuguese), the Açaí fruit is from the palm

The fruit, is small, round, black-purple drupe about 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter, similar in appearance and size to a grape but with less pulp, is produced in branched panicles of 700 to 900 fruits. Two crops of fruit are produced each year.  The berries are harvested as food. In a study of three traditional Caboclo populations in the Amazon region of Brazil, açaí palm was described as the most important plant species because the fruit makes up such a major component of diet (up to 42% of the total food intake by weight) and is economically valuable in the region.

The juice and pulp of açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea) are used in various juice blends, smoothies, sodas, and other beverages. In northern Brazil, açaí is traditionally served in gourds called “cuias” with tapioca and, depending on the local preference, can be consumed either salty or sweet (sugar, rapadura, and honey are known to be used in the mix). Açaí has become popular in southern Brazil where it is consumed cold as açaí na tigela (“açaí in the bowl”), mostly mixed with granola. Açaí is also widely consumed in Brazil as an ice cream flavor or juice. The juice has also been used in a flavored liqueur.


One Response to “Açaí”

  1. meninanorio said

    My apologies if you think I should have just linked to wikipedia, rather than quoting from it, as Scott believes I should have.

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