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Acai Berry Scam?

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The açai is a very important tree here in Amazonia and has been dating way before European contact. I found this legend of the açai in Portuguese and translated it. The important food plants of our region normally have a legend that tells where they come from and açai is no exception.

Amazonian Indian Legend

A legend tells that an Indian tribe that existed had a very large population. As food became scarce it became difficult to feed the entire tribe. So the Chief (cacique) Itaki made a cruel decision. He declared that from that day on all the recent born infants would be sacrificed so as not to increase the population.

Until one day a daughter of the Chief, named IAÇA, gave birth to a girl that also had to be sacrificed. IAÇA became desparate, cried every night as she missed her infant daughter. She stayed various days in reclusion in her hut and asked Tupã (the name for God in Tupi languages) to show her father another way to help her people besides sacrificing new born children.

On a certain full moon night IAÇA heard the cry of a baby. As she came close to the door of her hut she saw her daughter smiling and standing at the foot of a large palm tree. She jumped in the direction of the child to embrace her , and the child mysteriously disappeared.

IAÇA could not be consoled and cried until she died. The next day her body was found embracing the trunk of this palm tree. And, her face still had a smile of happiness and her eyes looked up in the direction of the top of the palm tree which was covered with dark fruits.

The Chief Itaki then ordered that the fruits be collected and upon obtaining a reddish colored drink (called wine) he named it AÇAI, in honor of her daughter by inverting her name IAÇA. With this drink he fed his people and suspended the sacrifice of infant children.

When Açai is made thick it is often mixed with manioc meal (farinha), or even be mixed with other things such as granola.


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Mark Heath
I am going to give these palms a try!!! I would love to grow my own!!! Do you think it will thrive here in Central Florida?

I would much rather grow it myself instead of paying for it, that way if the Acai berry is'nt what it's cracked up to be, then i'm not out anything!!!


I have two ACAI PALM (Euterpe oleracea) growing in 7-gallon pots right now, they are VERY fast growers! I bought them this summer in Loxahatchee, FL when i was down there on a business trip. When i bought them they were in a 1-gallon pot, and ready to be re-potted. They are a really beautiful palm, but i admit i bought them for the miracle fruit too :mrlooney: , not for the looks. I lost 1 due to the cold weather back in Oct/Nov, but that was my own fault, as i had only re-potted 2 of the 3 i bought. I currently have the other two in the spare room facing the window at the moment. At least until this nasty cold weather goes away, im sure by this time next year I will have them in the ground. Next time i go down there i can pick one up for you if you like, and you can pick it up at my house, im only 30 ~ 45 minutes from Orlando.

Thank you Randy! Please pick one up for me!! I will make it worth your while!!!

BTW, did you ever get that P.Reclinata for your in-laws???


thank you for the info, i will do it myself when i have a fruiting palm!!! I have written the information down for further use!

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My E. oleracea has nearly tripled its height since i re-potted it this summer, they were only about 12~18 inches tall when i got them, closer to 3 feet now. I have them in the spare room due to the extreme lows we have been getting. They are in good company with my flamethrower, giant fishtails, and a newt that is slowly eating all the bugs that came in with the pots. :lol:

I got a small P.Reclinata for myself, and im going to wait until spring for a larger one for the in-laws. I found one at a local nursery, that has a smaller one (which i bought) and a couple bigger ones i would like for them later. I might buy another smaller one for more cold protection after all this crappy weather we got, hahhaa.

E. oleracea (LEFT) and P. reclinata (Right)



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