The Annual Achachairu Festival takes place in PORONGO
, about 12 miles Northwest of the city of Santa Cruz. This small orange, semi-acidic fruit is native to the tropics of Bolivia and one of my favorites! I took the photo above just a few months ago at the main plaza in Porongo. It's surprisingly delicious! Each tree produces about 1000 achachairus.
The achachairú (ah-cha-chay-ROO) (accent on the ROO) is attracting much attention among companies interested in growing and producing it overseas. Representatives of several foreign companies are already getting ready to participate in something that is new at the festival: business round tables between Bolivian exporters and possible overseas importers.
Porongo is located just a short drive from the city. You cross over the Piraí River bridge that leads to Colinas del Urubó (same road you would take to the GUEMBE BUTTERFLY SANCTUARY
and the LA RINCONADA
resort and restaurant).
So why not make a day of it and visit all three places? You could easily spend a half day in Porongo, do the amazing buffet lunch at La Rinconada, and spend the other half of your day in Guembé. Or do two out of three.
The achachairu's scientific name is Garcinia sp. (or Bolivian mangosteen). Some foreigners call it the purple mangosteen and I have no idea why, since it's actually orange on the outside and white on the inside with brown seeds. Nothing purple about it.
Achachairú is most commonly consumed just as a raw fruit but second to that is achachairú juice and achachairú jellies and jams. It is also added to other fruit juices and jams. One of my favorite juice combinations is acai berry juice
If you live overseas, you can purchase seedlings here
For those of you who live here in Santa Cruz and for those of you who've sent in messages asking me for information about this fruit, here's some info on how to grow your own achachairú