The açaí palm produces a beautiful dark violet fruit about the size of a grape with a large center seed. It is often characterized as one of the “superfoods” because of its high antioxidant activity due to significant levels of anthocyanins and flavonoids that are the result of high levels of ultraviolet rays the trees are exposed to in the tropics.  Unfortunately for those living outside of the South American tropics, the high antioxidant activity is greatly diminished once it reaches their soils due to the heavy processing required for shipping. Fresh açaí's shelf life is short, only about two days.  The flavor of fresh açaí is very unique to the fruit. It is less sweet than most berries; a bit tart with a subtle chocolate flavor. The processed fruit is usually altered with sweeteners and other flavors.

Brazil is the main producer of açaí and the harvesting season is from December through August with two harvests withing that time span.

How to select: 

Acai has a very short shelf life. Therefore, the fresh berries will be extremely rare to find outside of the tropics. The frozen shipped fruit pulp is also likely to be pasteurized.

How to eat: 

Eat the fresh berry as you would any other berry.

Native to: 

South American rainforests