Sambazon Organic Juices, Smoothies, and Sorbets
Among many delicious tropical fruits previously unknown to me, I discovered açaí during my trip to Brazil in 2004. What I didn't know was that a group of friends also had discovered açaí during a surfing trip to Brazil and introduced it to the U.S. back in 2000 in the form of Sambazon organic juices, smoothies, and sorbets. Açaí (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee) is a purple berry about an inch in diameter that grows on palm trees in floodplain regions of the Amazon rainforest. Turns out, it's loaded with antioxidant phytochemicals, omega fats, fiber, and protein and has become extremely popular amongst athletes and other health-conscious people across the country. It's also delicious. With a sweet-tart flavor of mixed berries and a rich consistency, it is truly a "superfood" in every sense of the word.
California-based Sambazon has pioneered a sustainable agro-forestry business model in the Amazon region that helps combat environmental destruction, works to protect biodiversity, and creates new and ongoing employment for thousands of family farmers. Last November, Sambazon received the Secretary of State Department Award for Corporate Excellence for their work in the Amazon rainforest. And this year, they could be the biggest hit at the Austin City Limits Festival. Laura Leinweber, director of communications for Sambazon, says: "We are often a popular destination at the fests. Açaí helps keep both festivalgoers and musicians nourished through the long days and nights!" At their booth, they will be serving ice-cold açaí smoothies and juices (10.5 ounces) for $3 and açaí sorbet topped with granola and sliced banana for $6. The latter is a popular dish in southern Brazil, known as açaí na tigela ("açaí in the bowl"). Do yourself a favor, and have some. You'll be forever hooked.
Sambazon products are available locally at Whole Foods, HEB, Central Market, Sun Harvest, Wheatsville, Pure Austin, Mr. Natural, Daily Juice, Peoples Rx, Pacha, and Mozart's.