The Real Acai

Yesterday, I spent 3 hours at the gym, all of it working out. I went slowly, admittedly, because through crossed wires and SP traffic, my trainer was SO late that it was funny, and I became seriously dehydrated. Dear Brazilian Standard Time, I will NOT miss you. 😀

How to replenish from a calorie spend-a-thon? I had 4 egg whites with basil (before bequeathing my ever-bountiful basil plant to Jessica), and then we went out for Açaí. [SIDEBAR: SERIOUSLY, basil plant, SERIOUSLY. In Canada, I can hardly keep you alive / I consume you and then you’re gone, but in Brazil, I plucked you clean yesterday, watered you, and then you ALREADY had new growth the next day?!? Maybe I *have* a green thumb, it just needs a more fertile climate?] 😀

I had had Açaí powdered before—I liked the taste well enough, but suspected that something was lost in the processing. (Wikipedia states that scientific studies agree with that).

In Brazil, where the Açaí palm grows, the berry (which looks just like a blueberry) is harvested in the north, the pulp is mulched out and then frozen for shipment, and you can then either buy the pulp in ice cream tubs at an Açaí bar anywhere in the country, or you can eat it in. And in Rio and other beach places, it’s just sold on the beach.

Jessica says that in the north they eat it savoury, with dried shrimp in it. Now that I’ve tasted it (and my shellfish allergy notwithstanding), I can only say, “GROSS”.

In the south, it comes in a bowl. You can get “crazy small”, which is about 1/4 cup, “small”, which is about 1 cup, and then “large”, which is disgusting. And about 2 cups’ worth. Possibly those are not the ACTUAL Brazilian words for the sizes. Possibly.

Small was as good as I was gonna get, and after that, because the menu had about 17 varieties of Açaí, I let her guide me. Out of the myriad of toppings and presentations, she advised me to start “small” (as if I needed THAT clue!), and then, “to me, it’s not Açaí if there’s no granola.”

So I got granola.

And because I’ve developed a taste for condensed milk, I got that, too—all on the side so I could try it pure, first. she also got bananas on hers, and though I tried to photograph my own bowl, my camera just couldn’t handle photographing the amorphous purple blob… so I took a phot of her attacking hers, instead. I think the fact that she had bananas on top made hers somehow more focus-able. 😀

Everybody, purple sludge. Purple sludge, everybody.

I would describe the Açaí itself as sweet, strongly-flavoured, like a hybrid of blueberry and something else that I can’t put my finger on. Kind of perfume-y really; basically a HUGELY calorie dense smoothie. 😀 With the granola on top, it gave it a more pleasing texture—a little crunch was perfect. And the condensed milk made it like a dessert—sweet and creamy. It was really good, I won’t lie—almost makes it worth it that the Voldemort gods have pummeled me with 4,000 Voldemorts in the last month, most of which have been medicine-related, many of which have been about Açaí as a superfood. WELL, Voldemort, the real deal IS amazing, though maybe nor worth 3,000 comments in 1 month. 😀

I couldn’t eat all of mine—once my toppings were gone, I got a bit tired of the taste, but we saw some people from our gym come in, order the large bowls, mow down and leave, so it definitely has some purchase in the idea of it being a health-food. They treat it like it’s a meal replacement, and as a recovery food… to me, it would be a sweet treat, but for Brazilians, that’s when they’d really go for frozen yogurt (or so it came from several horses’ mouths). To me, I think that Açaí fits all those categories: meal replacement, recovery food, sweet treat. Yum.

And MAN, does it ever make my sad, dried, powdered version seem just as inferior as it was. 😀

With 48 hours left in Brazil, I’m glad I can check one more thing off my “kinda would like to do” list, though I fear I will NOT be learning crack caipirinha skills. With Jessica leaving for New York this evening—I think my future might be home-made Caipi-free. Somehow, I shall endure.

I have a funny post about interpersonal relationships and missing boats (figuratively speaking) for you tomorrow, partly in honour of a recent post, partly in honour of the fact that I’m an idiot. I love my life. However, I don’t know that I’ll have internet at my final destination, so you might just have to give me until repatriation.

Y’all come back now (all two readers!), ya hear? 😀
Have you had Açaí? What form was it in, and did you like it?