Açaí harvest; The right, the wrong and the impact on the taste and look. “Not all açaí berries are equal”. (Read further to know why)
From the Saamaka Maroon tribes in the South of Suriname to the Maroon tribes along the Maroni river; from the Indigenous tribes in Para to the tribes in Tapanahony and far beyond the border to Northern Brazil. We cherish the Amazon rainforest, as we rely heavily on it for our livelihood, be it for food, protection, medicine, etc... The way we go about the rainforest and our use of it is mainly based on traditional knowledge passed on from generation to generation; “we’ve had centuries of practicing”. Out of the many wild fruits we consume in the Amazon, just a handful are known to people outside the region; with Açaí being one of them. The knowledge of how, when and where to harvest/pick your fruit is important. Take the açaí berries for example; the berries (fruits) can be categorized into 4 natural states, based on colors (green, dark blue/black & brown), with each depicting the state of the fruit.
1. Green: immature & unripe berries
2. Dark: "maturing-unripe" not ripe enough to harvest.
3. Dark Blue/Black: ripe and ready to harvest.
4. Brown: dried berries to be discarded (this can happen with late harvesting and/or if the berry was picked by birds (toucans love açaí) or other animals.
Sometimes the “maturing-unripe” berries can look exactly like the matured and ripe berries that are ready to harvest. “The trick is to be able to recognize matured & ripe açaí berries from the maturing-unripe berries.” Using unripe and dried berries results in the açaí pulp having a strong "tartness" to its taste and an “un-açaí-like” dark brown color.
Preparing the perfect açaí pulp, from the berries, requires a good knowledge of this Amazonian superfruit.
Note: there are also other factors that can impact the color and the taste.
Next we will talk about:
"What an ‘actual’ authentic & traditional açaí is”. Do you have some cool stories about açaí or how you serve your açaí?
Would you like to know more about the açaí and its origin? Comment on this post with questions and your stories.
Asopie Açaí; Authentic Taste