All About Achacha

By: The Food Coach

It's not often we hear of a new fruit on the market - especially a tropical, delicious and nutritious fruit such as the Achacha. The Achacha is a fruit native to the Amazon Basin, where it is highly regarded for its unique flavour and excellent nutritional properties.

In 2002 the first seeds were planted in North Queensland resulting in the world's first commercial plantation of Achacha. Last January a small amount of the fruit was trialled in Sydney with a great response. This year the fruit is available in Brisbane, Melbourne and exported to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Unlike most tropical fruit, the Achacha has a relatively low natural sugar content, making it the perfect snack food. It is a good source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants, as well as other important nutrients such as folate, potassium and riboflavin.

In and around the skin is betacarotene, and although the skin isn't regularly eaten, it can be used to make a thirst-quenching tropical drink. Simply pierce the skin with your thumbnail or a small knife and pop the Achacha open. The pulp is well protected by the firm skin. To make the drink simply soak the skins of six achachas in water overnight, to make one litre of juice. Strain and sweeten to taste with stevia or a little sugar and serve with fresh mint or ginger.

The soft, creamy flesh beneath the skin is not overly sweet, tangy and refreshing, especially in the midst of summer. On a hot day the kids will love frozen Achachas - freeze with or without the skins on. Or try them in a savoury salad with mixed greens, a light vinaigrette and grated parmesan.

Achachas store well out of the fridge in a cool place, and even when the skin is slightly wrinkled it's still fine to eat. Traditionally the Bolivians believe this drink has hunger suppressing qualities, which is not surprising considering it's a member of the Garcinia genus. Judging by the bright colour it will be loaded with phytochemicals, another great reason to enjoy.


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