What is acai berry?
To begin with, acai berry is a grape-sized type of berry growing naturally within Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest. The fruit comes from the acai palm (scientific name: Euterpe oleracea), which has been found to also grow abundantly in swamps and floodplains in the tropical areas of Central and South America.
Acai berry is a reddish-to-purple fruit, usually about an inch long each. Botanists say the fruit is a relative of other popular dark-purple fruits like cranberry and blueberry. Acai berry could still be not as popular as other berries, but its health benefits and nutrients will never be in any way inferior.
Compared to grapes, acai berry has less pulp. The fruit contains a large seed, which comprises about 80% of each fruit. The exocarp of ripe acai berry provides a deep purple appearance (an indication of its nutritional value) and its mesocarp appears thin and pulpy. Acai berry may not be as tasty and flavorful as other fruits, but its nutritive properties could never be underestimated.
Acai berry is usually harvested as food. In the Amazon region in Brazil, particularly in the traditional Caboclo areas, acai berry has always been considered an important fruit because it takes a significant component of their diet. The fruit is also economically valuable within the region. Natives in the area have been harvesting acai berry for hundreds of years.
There are many ways to consume acai berry. Of course, the fruit could be eaten directly from the tree. The natives of Brazil conduct a process to separate acai berry pulp from its seed. The procedure produces edible thick puree.
The pulp and the juice are also used in different juice blends, sodas, smoothies and several refreshing beverages. Still in Brazil, acai berry is served as gourds, as a dessert in bowl and as an ice cream flavor. Some local liquor brands also use acai berry as an enticing flavor.