Today, açaí bowls are a ubiquitous part of Hawai‘i’s food culture, with dozens of shops offering a variety of different flavors and toppings. Consistently one of the best selling items in our cafes, they are a popular choice for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack, and are enjoyed by health-conscious consumers of all ages.
Here, we'll tell you a little more about:
- what this superfruit is
- its health benefits
- how it got to Hawaii
- and the kinds of bowls you can enjoy in our cafes!
What is açaí?
The açaí berry is a small, round fruit native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. At first sight, açaí berries don’t seem edible as they are small, hard, and have large pits. In order for them to be edible, they have to be soaked in water and the fruit pulp has to be removed from the pit.
Açaí has been a staple food in the region for generations and has a long history of use in indigenous cuisine and traditional medicine. Known to be the Brazilian “superfruit”, this dark purple fruit encompasses many benefits.
Benefits of Açaí
- Packed with nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, chromium, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, +more!
- Loaded with antioxidants: important for neutralizing the damaging effects of radicals that cause diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Proved to boost brain function and energy: proven to protect your brain from the inflammation and oxidation that negatively affect memory and learning as you age
Açaí’s Journey to the Islands
Have you ever wondered how the trend of açaí bowls made its way to Hawai‘i? In the late 1990s, a group of surfers from California discovered açaí bowls while traveling in Brazil. They were captivated by the delicious, healthy snack, and began bringing açaí berries back to the United States.
As the popularity of açaí grew, entrepreneurs in Hawai‘i began to take notice. One of the early pioneers of açaí in Hawai‘i was Tamara Rigney, who founded Basik Acai in 2010. Rigney was a fitness enthusiast who had been consuming açaí bowls for years, and saw an opportunity to bring the healthy snack to Hawai‘i. Basik Acai quickly became popular among locals and tourists alike, and inspired a wave of similar shops across the islands.
Here at Honolulu Coffee, we offer three different types of açaí bowls:
The Classic | açaí, granola, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas
The Hawaiian | açaí, granola, bananas, coconut flakes, almond butter
The Antioxidant | açaí, granola, bananas, blueberries, cacao nibs
Do you want to get creative? Feel free to customize your own bowl when you visit us!