Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What the heck is ACAI?

Acai. I've seen it here and there. Now it's in my Yoplait yogurt.  So what the heck is it?  And how do you say it? Well wouldn't you know it, our local paper the Marin Independent Journal has a whole feature about this mystery berry.

First, how do you pronounce it?  "ah-sah-EE".  I always thought the "c" was pronounced like a hard "k" - guess not!

According to the article, acai is a berry native to Brazil. It tastes like an earthier version of a blackberry. Sounds interesting. Some even say it tastes like a chocolate covered blueberry. Now we're talking! 

I went on the acai website, www.acai.org, but all their info is from wikipidia. Interesting..... So I went to wikipedia. The acai fruit is only harvested twice a year and deteriorates rapidly, so they freeze the pulp or dry it for use in beverages, ice cream, yogurt, soda, etc. You probably won't see it very often in your local market. If you do, I'm guessing it will be expensive. So far the only thing I can find it in are beverages, yogurts, and powder products that super humans use to get healthy.

I have to say, I'm curious about how something that looks like a blueberry got this big?  What if we rename a fruit - similar to the whole prune/plum thing - and market its superpowers? I think we should rename the blueberry something really exotic and market it as the next superfruit.  

So I did some quick wiki research. Did you know that blueberries are native to North America? They are considered a Superfruit (I thought I was making it up - like superman, superfruit) because of all their nutritious qualities.  The plant is technically called a Vaccinium something or other.  If you look it up on Wikipedia you'll get all the technical mumbo jumbo.  The first sentence lost me:
"Blueberries are flowering plants in the genus Vaccinium sect, Cyanococcus."  Huh?

I think I'm on to something. So I'm going to think about it some more. 

I wonder if they've made Acai flavored vodka yet? Hmmmm. (Just checked. Yep. Someone already thought of that. doh!)

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~Kris

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