Why “Acai”? The Story Of The Berry

With much of what we eat, and much of what we do, we know very little about the story that has brought it to its present status. OK, sure, so we know – most of us anyway – that hamburgers are so called because they were invented in the German city of Hamburg. But what of the Acai berry? What’s its story? Well, the following is a theory, a rumour and possibly a legend. It may well have been made up, but it sounds good and that’s what is important.

An Amazonian tribal chief recognized that his tribe were running out of food and in order to ensure that they survived he came up with a radical solution. All new born babies would have to be killed in order to make the food that was there go further. When his own daughter Iaca fell pregnant, the chief, fearing accusations of bias, killed his only grandchild. Iaca mourned for days until she heard a baby crying in the distance. She left her tent to find a palm tree covered in purple berries.

Heartbroken that her daughter had been killed for apparently no reason, Iaca laid down against the tree and died of a broken heart. When the tribe found her body, they noticed the tree and others of the same nature. Through finding this tree the tribe was able to eat well and recovered its strength. The decree was lifted and the tribe thrived thanks to the trees. In memory of Iaca, the trees were named for her, with the word “Iaca” reversed to become Acai.

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