At the risk of sounding pretentious, I really fell in love with acai in Brazil. Pronounced ‘ass-eye-ee’, it’s a delicious sweet treat made from frozen acai berries blended into a thick smoothie-like consistency. A few years ago someone declared acai a ‘superfood’ and it started popping up in cafes and on instagram as a breakfast food.
Last weekend, after waiting over an hour for an acai bowl at Top Paddock, I decided to try my own. Unfortunately in Australia you can only really make acai from acai powder, so it’s definitely not the same. Here’s what I thought.
- Have you read the old folk story Stone Soup? It’s the one where these travellers show up in a village and convince the locals they can make a soup for everyone using just a pot and a stone… Oh and a few your carrots… And maybe some spices… Etc etc until basically they trick the villagers into giving them all the ingredients. Well making your own acai bowl is a bit like that. You blend a frozen banana, half a cup of frozen blueberries, some coconut water, oh and a teaspoon of acai powder and bam! You have acai! Well not really. I found my acai bowl tasted, unsurprisingly, of banana and blueberry.
- I think the quality of the acai powder really makes a difference. In hindsight buying a packet for $10 from Chemist Warehouse probably wasn’t the best option. As you can see in these photos my acai doesn’t have that deep, rich purple hue that proper acai has. Also it tastes nothing like acai.
- It’s really hard to make the arty looking acai bowls that have millions of likes on Instagram. I topped my acai with strawberries, shredded coconut and chia seeds and barely had enough time to take the photo before it all sank into the goopy mess below.
- In Brazil acai is more like gelato or frozen yoghurt, there’s actually the option of having sweetened condensed milk on top… So even with fruit and hype foods like chia seeds and goji berries it’s hard to see how this could possibly be healthy.
- Would I make it again? Probably not. Except I still have coconut water in the fridge that needs to be used up…
- Conclusion; these look really cool. That’s about it.
Have you ever made acai? What am I doing wrong?!