The miraculous berry from the Amazon
The açaí berry grows atop palm trees in the estuary of the amazon river in northern Brazil.
For centuries, natives to the region have enjoyed açaí's nutritive benefits and unique blueberry-cocoa taste. Nowadays, it is very popular all over Brazil where people enjoy its energy and amazing health properties.
A rare and fragile berry
Açaí palm trees grow wild in the estuary of the Amazon river, in the north of Brazil. Harvesting is done exclusively by hand: there are no plantations, chemicals, or machines, just expert tree-climbers! As access to açaí-growing regions is limited, harvested berries are transported in handmade baskets and small boats.
Surprisingly, açaí berries are neither sweet nor juicy, and their seed makes up 90% of the fruit. That’s why they’re not eaten directly: a machine extracts the thick pulp with blades. Extraction must occur within 48 hours of harvesting, as the açaí berry is very fragile. In Brazilian cuisine, the açaí pulp is used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes.
In order to preserve the peak freshness of our berries, Nossa’s açaí pulp is extracted in the Amazon the same day it’s harvested. It is then frozen and sent to Europe by boat, where we make our juice. Freezing is the best way to maximize the taste and nutritive properties of the açaí berry.
The açaí legend
Centuries ago, long before the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, a great tribe inhabited the estuary of the Amazon river. As they were facing a food shortage, the tribe’s chief Itaki ordered that every newborn child be sacrificed in order to stop population growth.
Sometime later, Iaça, one of Itaki’s daughters, gave birth to an exceptionally beautiful daughter. Iaça pleaded with her father to spare the child, but he insisted that the baby be sacrificed. Stricken with despair, Iaça locked herself in her hut and cried for many days. One night, she heard a baby crying in the forest. After following the sounds of the cries, she discovered her daughter under a palm tree, smiling and laughing. Yet just as Iaça ran towards her, the child suddenly disappeared. Iaça was so overcome with shock that she collapsed right on the spot. Her body was found several days later, embracing the trunk of the palm tree. She was smiling and looking at the top of the tree, which was full of bunches of purple berries.
Upon hearing the news, chief Itaki immediately sent for the berries that his grief-stricken daughter had inadvertently discovered, and used them to nourish the hungry people of his tribe. Reversing the letters of his daughter’s name, Itaki called this magical fruit “açaí.” From then on, his tribe lived in good health and welcomed new generations.