Saturday, November 16, 2013

Açaí (ah-sah-eeee)

I can't believe I've never posted about açaí before (besides including it in the top 100 foods list)!  Açaí is a berry/fruit that grows on the Açaí palm, which is native to the Amazon.  It is usually served as a juice or a puree, sweetened with honey and mixed with yogurt, granola and bananas.  It is delicious, refreshing, and has lots of healthy antioxidants.  It is more common in the Northeast, but it can be found all over Brazil, and is a popular afternoon snack, served at ice cream stores or snack shops that specialize in smoothies and salgados (salty snacks).  

In the past 6 months or so, we've noticed a sudden increase in the amount of these snack shops in Belo Horizonte.  They are popping up everywhere, and they usually have the same kind of signage (a rectangular sign with images of fruits in the background) and the açaí included in the name of the store. I think that there is a new chain in town, but now people are piggy-backing on the idea, and without much creativity.  In fact, I've seen at least one store open RIGHT NEXT to another new store.  My oldest daughter loves to tell me all the names of the different stores, because some of them are just downright silly.  Here's a list of what she remembers:

1.  Rajaçaí--the açaí place on Avenida Raja
2.  Megaçaí
3.  Daçaí
4.  Taçaí
5.  Topaçaí
6.  Refresçaí
7.  Savaçaí--in Savassi
8.  Praçaí
9.  Peçaí
10.  And our favorite, Thaçaí, because Brazilians have a very hard time pronouncing the "TH" sound.

If I opened my own açaí place, I would called it "Saci açaí" (pronounced "saw-see-ah-sah-eeee") and have a picture of Saci frolicking amongst the fruits, eating açaí.  Anyone else have a names they can add to my list, or a creative name for an açaí business?

1 comment:

  1. It's always been like that in BH. Everytime someone comes up with what seems like a good idea for a shop or lanchonete, tons of generics pop up everywhere, like the plague. It happened with pães de queijo e cafezinhos, pastéis, empadas... now it's açai. :) It's all good though 'cause I've been craving açai and I'm coming, BH! :D