Achachairu Festival

by BoliviaBella
(Santa Cruz, Bolivia)


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 with achachairu.

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.


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Comments for Achachairu Festival

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CREO QUE FALTO LA FECHA DEL FESTIVAL,NO?
by: Anonymous

CREO QUE FALTO LA FECHA DEL FESTIVAL NO?

Acai Juice
by: Geddy

Sounds like a Bolivian business opportunity to me!!

Geddy

cheap acai
by: Anonymous

$18 is cheap. In California they cost almost $30-40.
Brazilians must be making a killing off acai. They export 90% of the world's acai to the US and Europe where people are always trying new diets.

Acai Berry
by: Geddy

Bella,
I saw a bottle of Acai juice yesterday in Sam's Club in the vitamins section. The label said it was from Brazil. It was expensive though...$18 US for 24 ounces!

Acai berry and Guapuru: Not the same.
by: BoliviaBella

Hi Geddy! Nope. Acai berry and guapurú are not the same fruit. You can read all about the acai berry here. I made a whole section on it with information on its nutritional values, etc.

The guapurú is unusual in that each tiny fruit grows right out of the tree trunk while the acai berry grows in bunches that hang off the tops of the acai palm tree much like huge clusters of grapes.

TheWiseGardener.com has an absolutely STUNNING picture and a TON of information on the guapurú here (the call it by its other name, jaboticaba):

Mario Andrade, owner of Quinta Victoria grows the guapurú on his quinta and makes an amazing sipping liquor from it. Quinta Victoria is located just 3 kilometers past Porongo.

Acai Berry
by: Geddy

Bella,
I enjoyed reading about the Achachairu festival. You mentioned the Acai juice. Does Acai go by another name in the Beni? We were wondering if it is the same as Guapuru?

Geddy

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