RIO DE JANEIRO – WHERE ACAI TOOK OFF
Even though acai grows thousands of miles from Rio de Janeiro, it was Rio where acai gained a lot of publicity and some powerful endorsers.
It was brought to the city in the 1970s and 80s by northern Brazilians who moved to Rio, or “cariocas” (people born in Rio) who had roots in Para or Amazonas.
Known for their active and healthy lifestyle, cariocas realized the health benefits and appreciated the great taste of acai. Soon they worked it into their routine and began eating acai every day.
Since acai was coming from the north of the country, it wasn’t available freshly picked, and could only be bought frozen. People began making acai bowls in what came ot be known as Rio style (“acai na tigela”): a delicious and healthy combination of frozen acai, guarana, fresh fruit and granola.
This style of acai quickly became popular with amateur and professional athletes in surfing, jiu-jitsu, soccer, beach volleyball and others who valued the great taste and healthful benefits of this super-fruit.
From Rio, the acai story spread throughout Brazil during the 1980s and 90s. Today word of this amazing food has spread around the world, and health-conscious consumers everywhere are making acai a part of their daily routine.