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I have to be honest here. Before Mike and I began research in what we thought the perfect food truck for Cincinnati would be, we had never had or even heard of acai. Sure, I saw the word on drinks and at the checkout at the stores for chocolate covered acai, but that was pretty much my exposure. While researching how to do our food truck build-out we happened up on an acai bowl food truck. With no words, we just looked at each other, smiled, and knew...THIS WAS US! With excitement and great enthusiasm we began watching all the “how-to” videos and when we felt confident enough, we went out and purchased all the needed ingredients for our first acai bowl. There is no denying that instantly we fell in love with this berry puree from the Amazon, and BOL was born.

But why such the hype? I mean, what’s so great about acai? What is it really and where does it come from? Well...glad you asked.

So this dark purple berry (which is really a drupe due to the size of its seed) comes from places like the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The acai fruit is dark purple in color and similar looking to a blueberry, but the seed makes up to 60 to 80% of the berry. They grow in long clusters on acai palm trees and produce all year around. The fruit itself, once picked is so perishable it doesn’t leave the rainforest as a berry. A harvester climbs the tree, cuts down the cluster and fills up hand woven baskets with the berries. At this point, they are taken to their plant, right there in the Amazon and processed, and then shipped all around the world. The people of the Amazon actually eat the berry as a warm gravy served over friend fish- a stark contrast to our smoothie bowls. So now we know where it comes from, but what’s all the hype?

A big part of the hype is the fact that this little berry is so nutrient dense. While there is no magic pill, or in this case, a magic berry to have picture perfect health, the acai fruit does have some wonderful benefits. Packed with Vitamin A, C, and E along with a healthy dose of antioxidants and healthy Omega’s (3, 6, and 9), it’s no wonder some refer to this fruit as “Super.” Clinical tests are still being done to confirm claims beyond the obvious benefits of how antioxidants, vitamins and Omega’s naturally and normally benefit one’s body, but the early research looks very promising to aid in various health issues, from cholesterol to cell protection. For a food so nutrient dense, relatively low in sugar with a good amount of fiber, it’s just another reason to add acai to your healthy eating regiment.

Acai bowls are one of those healthy foods that just taste soooo good. And this is also the reason for the hype. I have at least one a day as a meal replacement, and I just can’t get enough. It’s taste is unique to itself. Many people eat it because it tastes so good, while the more health conscious eat it as a post work-out meal or a healthy go-to snack. You simply can’t go wrong. So now you know what it is, where it comes from, and what the hype is all about. So go get your acai on!

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