Açai, pronounced Asayee, is a little purple berry that grows in the Amazon. There are a bunch of different ways to eat it, however, I would argue that the absolute best way to eat it is Açai na tigela (Açai in a bowl). We had it for the first time the other day, just açai with the only topping being granola. IT WAS AMAZING. I’ve never felt this emotionally connected to a fruit in my lifetime. Sure they sell frozen açai in the states, in fact, some restaurants have açai bowls, but I would be willing to bet that they can’t live up to the hype of Açai in Brazil. They way that it’s made here usually is a smoothie/slushie like consistency, and it’s sweet. I think they add honey or something similar, and often times you can order it with fruit and granola. Personal fav=banana and granola. Luckily for me, both banana and granola are the same in Portuguese as they are in English. It’s the little things in life.
It was hard to leave the little island of Maui, which had won my heart with rain forest-like drives and sunsets that looked like they were from paintings. Our next stop would be Honolulu, a more urban-style Hawaiian island and also the most densely populated island of them all. We hopped aboard a full-size Hawaiian Airlines jet, which felt a little unnecessary considering the fact that our flight was barely 40 minutes. We took off, reached cruising altitude, and promptly began our descent. When we landed, we hopped an airport shuttle to get to our hotel, and we were greeted by a bracing reminder that we were no longer on a quiet i sland—traffic. Driving through downtown Honolulu on a Friday afternoon is about as unpleasant as driving across the George Washington Bridge at rush hour. After a grueling and painfully slow journey, we finally arrived to check in at our hotel in Waikiki. Our room had promised a “partial ocean view” which we were not terribly optimistic about, but when we saw it, we almost fell over. There was a balcony which overlooked a sweeping and unbelievable view of the sea, with bubbling whitecaps and bright sunlight. We were used to staying in budget motels during our travels and that view made this feel like the Ritz. Traffic–so very, very forgiven. In an attempt to waste as little time as possible, we changed and left to find some lunch before hitting the beach. We picked a local spot on a side street called Heavenly , which was full of rustic wooden tables and offered an Asian inspired breakfast and lunch menu. We learned that acai bowls in Honolulu were more popular than cold-pressed green juice back in NYC–we saw them everywhere . So I decided to give one a try. It tasted kind of like acai berry sorbet and was covered with juicy pieces of Hawaiian fruits and fresh granola. We sipped on some berry-infused mimosas on the side, because it’s 5-o-clock somewhere. Finally on the beach, we jumped into the ocean as fast as our mimosa-filled butts could go. The water was warmer than a bath and crystal clear. It was actually warmer than the water in Maui, if that is even possible. The tide was gentle and the waves were low, letting you bob up and down for a seemingly endless period of time. We snapped some photos mid-wave with an old school disposable waterproof camera that I’d found on Amazon, fearing that it had been sitting in the warehouse since the 90’s. We actually have two friends living in Honolulu who we’d met through a mutual friends back when they were visiting NYC. Ironically, their apartment is 3 blocks from our hotel. Since we were staying smack dab in the most touristy and hectic part of the city, this was completely unexpected, so we made our way over there after we were sufficiently beached-out. Sitting outside their apartment door and sipping a drink, you forgot that just a few blocks away sat the “Times Square of Hawaii”. Having heard about our affinity for Hawaii sunsets, they took us to dinner at Rumfire , which was so close to the water that the waves would occasionally splash over the rocky cliff and onto the sidewalk just outside. The sun teetered above the horizon as we sat among the lantern lights and snacked away on pork belly with scallion pancakes and parmesan truffled “tatas” (tater tots), waiting for the supposed weekly firework show in the distance. “…Don’t get too excited about the fireworks” One blast was heard, a single sprinkling of lights, and then a mysterious silence. Shortest (presumably malfunctioning) firework show that I’ve personally witnessed. We decided to stick to sunsets.
Prologue Morgan Holmströrm is a Swedish entrepreneur, who is currently a very successful coach in the career orientation area. However, after living for a while in Brazil he fell in love with the country and people and found the idea how he could make the world a better place. #Idea The deforestation problem in Amazonas is until now one of the biggest problems in Brazil. According to a non-profit research institution Imazon the deforestation degree of Amazon has increased by 214% in 2015 in compare with the same periods in 2014 and 2013 . Despite special tax regimes in some Amazon regions aimed at attraction of investments, there is still lack of well paid working places, what often supports the increase of illegal deforestation. After living more than one year in the North-Estern region Para in Brazil, and observing this alarming situation I came to an idea of a social product which can on the one side create new working places in these „trouble“ regions and on the other side contribute to a healthy nutrition. In Brazil there is very special berry açai. Açaí is a tasty and protein-full dark blue berry, which is one of the main nutrition component for indigenous in Amazonas for many generations. According to Greenpeace açaí berries are „the most financially viable non-wood forest product from the Amazon’s delta“ . In Brazil açaí is used for many purposes from nutrition till cosmetics. However, in Europe this product is not widespread. So I decided to start exporting açaí to Europe to produce ice cream and sorbet. This exporting activities should help to create new working places in Amazon regions and attract additional attention to a deforestation problems. To carry out this project I got a bank loan, found local partners in Brazil in the region and I will start in August or beginning of September exporting açaí to Sweden. From the last trip to Amazon rainforest in 2015, together with the local partners #Aim My biggest goal for the future is to bring a new healthy and organic product to European market ( Amazonkey ) and at the same time provide new working places in Brazil and in this sense reduce the deforestation of Amazon rainforest. #Inspiration My biggest motivation and inspiration is observing first results of my work. There are already a couple of new job opportunities for the locals in this project. It really feels great to see this difference and how only one project can substantially change lives of locals pulling them out of the poverty.
The days are getting long and hot. Cool down with a Blueberry PowrPop made with the Amazon PowrBlend
Acai is an indigenous berry commonly found in the rain forests of the Amazon. This antioxidant-rich
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