The Açaí berry is small, round, black-purple and about 1 inch in diameter. It grows on palm trees native to South American jungles.
In Brazil, açaí pulp is traditionally served in gourds with tapioca, or mashed up like a smoothie in a bowl with granola – sort of like a parfait. It is also a popular flavor of ice cream, juice, and liqueur. Besides the fact that açaí tastes amazing, it is incredibly good for you too. Açaí juice, much like pomegranate products, is a good source of antioxidants, protein, and healthy sugars. In a study of rats fed a high cholesterol diet, supplemental feeding with dry açaí pulp reduced overall cholesterol in the blood levels. Not that I’m comparing us to rats, mind you.
And, it’s good for the environment too. Açaí is a renewable resource that can provide a sustainable livelihood for subsistence harvesters in the Amazon river basin without damaging the Amazon Rainforest. So not only are you helping poor people make a decent living, but you are doing it in a way that not only doesn’t harm the rainforest, but actually helps it. That’s called a win-win-win in my book.
If nothing else, it is an amazing cure for a hangover.
Did you know?
Leaves from the açaí palm are used to make hats, mats, baskets, brooms and roof thatch for homes.