How would you pronounce cupuaçu?
Cupuaçu is a “super fruit” that comes from South America and is extremely potent with antioxidants and other powerful nutrients.
It is the size of a medium watermelon, is related to the cocoa bean and has a name that is ineligible for trademark despite several attempts.
The creamy white or buttery yellow pulp at the centre of the large melon-shaped fruit has been a primary food source for natives in the rainforest for centuries. They become ripe from January to April during the rainy season. The large, oblong-shaped fruit with a hard outer brown shell can weigh from 2 to 4 pounds.
After falling from the tree, cupuaçu are gathered, split open, and the pulp is made into juice, ice cream and jam. The pulp contains a handful (20-30) grape-sized oval brown seeds. These can be pressed to make cupuaçu butter, rich in phytosterols and fatty acids that contain high moisturising and antioxidant properties to rejuvenate and make the skin more supple and hair more lustrous, while the vitamins along with the fatty acids protect against cardiovascular disease, memory lost, and mood swings.
Those who have eaten cupuaçu say it has a sweet fragrant aroma, a powerful indicator of the fruit’s ripeness. The moment you split the shell open your senses fill with the tropical aroma of pineapple and pears, banana and even grapefruit. The pulp has the richness of chocolate with the sweet flavours of pears, pineapple and banana.
Cupuaçu, the national fruit of Brazil, boosts energy levels but does not contain caffeine. It is one of the few cocoa relatives that does not.
There are many health benefits to cupuaçu, most of which are tied to the fruit’s extremely potent phytonutrient polyphenols and antioxidants and essential nutrients and vitamins, which are known to boost the gastro-intestinal system; in fact the inhabitants of the rain forest use it for that purpose.
This fruit offers an ample supply of vitamin B1, B2, Niacin, vitamins A and C. Being from the cocoa family, cupuaçu also has a high flavonoid content.
Its primary health benefit is stimulating the immune system while simultaneously supporting the body’s ability to fight disease.
Another huge benefit of the fruit is its extremely rich array and concentration of antioxidants. These have a large number of longer-term effects on the body including (and possibly most importantly) the neutralization of free radicals in the body’s tissues. The improved circulation and lowered cholesterol and blood pressure aid in this process of eliminating those free radicals.
To top if off, the shell of the cupuaçu fruit can be used for energy production due to its timber like characteristics.
It’s no wonder that its name is translated as ‘food for the gods’.
Oh and the pronunciation of cupuaçu is “koo-poo-wa-soo”.
JUICED @ THE WICKET CUPUAÇU BOWL
½ cup cupuaçu pulp
½ a small banana
2 small pieces of pineapple
a splash of agave nectar
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Top with granola, coconut shavings, bee pollen, hemp seeds and banana and strawberries. Enjoy.