Açaí has the taste of our land. It’s a way of reconnecting. It’s a taste of childhood - Letícia Galvão


image by: mrpizzamandc

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Strange Fruit

The fruit, açaí (pronounced “ah-sah-ee”), grows in weedlike profusion across hundreds of thousands of acres of the Amazon River delta. It has been a staple of the diet of the region’s people since before recorded history: first the floodplain tribes who settled in the rain forest, now the people of mixed Indian and European ancestry who farm the area and live in widely spaced houses on the Amazon tributaries that thread the jungle like tiny capillaries.

The ribeirinhos, or river people, as they call themselves, harvest and prepare açaí in the manner that’s been used for centuries: they scale the trees, bring down the berry clusters, then pull off the fruit and soak…

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 Strange Fruit

The rise and fall of açaí. In test tubes, anthocyanins are highly effective in neutralizing free radicals, which have been implicated in cancer and various other diseases. But anthocyanins (and other flavonoid antioxidants in foods) behave differently in the human body, where they are poorly absorbed. “Despite all the hoopla, these polyphenolic compounds, such as the flavonoids that you find in açaí, are not very important, or powerful, or significant contributors to fighting free radicals,”

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