Thursday, February 21, 2008

First Encounters with Açaí

Written by Richard Matusow, Director of Sales

Açaí is one of those rare products that people get passionate about and remember the details of their first encounter.

In 2001, I hadn't been in Rio for more than a few hours when I saddled up to a corner juice bar to try the purple stuff that everyone had told me about. Since I couldn't pronounce it, I just pointed to someone next to me and in broken portuguese asked for "um desses". Over my 9 months in Rio, Açaí became an integral part of my daily routine. The more I ate bowls of Açaí with granola and drank the refreshing smoothies, the more I wondered what the heck the stuff was. I incessantly asked juice bar owners where it came from and what it looked like in it's natural state. The stories ranged from it's a fruit from northeast, period, to it grows on bushes on the Amazon River. Sometimes I wonder if people outside the US that have been introduced to Açaí by people like us know more about it, than the regular juice bar customers on the beaches in Brasil.

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