When the Brazilian fruit açaí berry was shown on Oprah just a year or so ago, its popularity soared to unheard of dimensions. Virtually unknown outside the Amazon two decades ago, and until 2000 not exported from Brazil — its major producer — açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is now an international celebrity, riding the wave of the antioxidant craze and rain-forest chic. It is now famous for its amazing healing and dietary properties. The Acai palm tree is abundant in the Amazonian rain forests. These dark berries are absolutely packed with antioxidants as well as high levels of essential fatty acids. Amazingly they also contains elements which aid cardio-vascular and digestive health. For families who live in the North state of Pará, along the winding, interlaced rivers at the hub of açaí production, the fruit has long been a vital part of their diet, a cheap way to fill up and a taste of home.

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