What Exactly is Acai Berry and Where Does it Come From ?

What Exactly is Acai Berry and Where Does it Come From ?

With so much buzz around the Acai berry one is bound to becoming curious, wanting to know what exactly is it. We gathered important knowledge about the Acai berry, trying to answer this question for our readers.

The Acai berry resembles a grape, but is a little smaller. It’s a purplish (almost black) fruit, with one single seed inside it. When the Acai berry is ripe the exocarp will turn either a deep green or a deep purple depending on what where it’s grown and how mature the plant is. The mesocarp part of the berry is the fleshy part and it’s here that the pulp is found.

The Acai berry is a very important food source for the Amazon people who live in Brazil. In fact, the juice and pulp of the Acai berry make up about 42% of their food source. The juice and pulp are blended with other juices to make smoothies and other types of drinks.

The Acai berry grows in a tall and towering palm tree which can reach up to 25 meters in height. The top of the Acai tree is a bunch of leafy branches. Twice in one year tiny purple berries grow in these branches. And it’s these berries that are the source of all this excitement. In fact, the Acai berry is now in such high demand that it’s harvested in mass amounts in many villages.

Because of it’s life span of only about 24 hours, the Acai berry quickly needs to be harvested into baskets, put onto ships, and sent to local markets where they are bought and then sent to be processed and packaged. The Acai berry is a tiny seed contained within pulp and during the processing method the berries are separated from the pulp so that a thick puree is produced. The berry can also be processed into pulp and juice. It is also dried or freeze dried into a powder.

Acai berry juice and pulp is often used in juice blends and other beverages. In parts of Brazil the Acai is served as a ìcuias”- the juice is mixed with tapioca and drunk from gourds. In southern Brazil the Acai is often eaten with granola and consumed cold from the bowl.