About the Achacha
The Achacha, known in Bolivia as the Achachairú, (meaning honey kiss in Guaraní, a local native language) is highly prized, having been cultivated for centuries in domestic orchards in the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin. It has not been commercialised internationally until now.
Many people think of Bolivia as being a high mountainous country in the Andes. That is true in the area around La Paz, the capital, and in one third of the country. However Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the country’s largest city, is located in the tropical lowlands, home to many wonderful exotic fruits and vegetables including the Achacha.
The Achacha attracts attention before and as it is being consumed. It has an appealing colour and form and is very decorative. It is egg-shaped, up to 6cm long by 4cm in diameter. It takes on a reddish-orange shade when mature. There is usually one significant coffee-coloured seed, but larger fruit may have more than one seed. As an eco-friendly forest fruit which has not been through hundreds of generations of selective breeding, each one has its own personality and curves, with perhaps a few small bumps and marks on its skin which add interest to its appearance but do not affect its quality.
Storage & Shelf Life
Achacha does not ripen further once harvested. So technically it is a non-climacteric fruit, like the pineapple, cherry, and orange, compared to a climacteric fruit such as the mango, peach and banana.
A household refrigerator stores perishable food at about 5°C; this is too cold for the Achacha, unless you are planning on eating it that day and need it chilled. At about 20°C – room temperature – it will keep for days in the fruit bowl, and weeks if stored in a closed container or bag so that the skin retains some humidity and does not dry out. Refrigerate for several hours before eating if you would like to sharpen up the flavour!
It’s a fact – most kids and adults don’t eat enough fruit
If you’re bored with the same old fruit, why not try the dancing fruit; the Achacha. Have fun piercing and popping open the Achacha fresh from North Queensland! They’re a healthy addition to a kid’s lunch box and being fun to open, an excellent companion on a long holiday trip. With their exciting tangy and refreshing zesty taste, Achacha may just be the fruit to boost your daily intake.
The Achacha is renowned for rich antioxidant content. This along with its unique nutrient composition, folate, potassium and vitamin C makes it an excellent addition to your fruit bowl.
The skin also contains many nutritional content. The Achacha Thirst Quencher made by infusing the skin, will give you a healthy dose of betacarotene, hydroxycitrate acid (HCA), arginine and other minerals. Being low in sugar – what could be better for you?
- Refreshing zesty flavour appeals to all people, young and old
- Great source of natural energy
- The perfect take-anywhere snack food
- Light on kilojoules and sugar but big on taste
- Help reach your 2+ serves of fruit a day
- Delicious sweet treat to beat sugar
- Cravings or 3 o’clock energy slumps
- Versatile to eat – peel it straight out of the skin, or freeze, pulp it and use as an ingredient in salsas, salads, desserts and sauces
- The skin infusion is perfect for blending into icy fruit frappes or cocktails this summer
- Mix the skin drink with ginger or mint, ice and mineral water for a refreshing and nutritious summer drink
- Freeze to keep through winter or use as a frozen natural sorbet treat, or better still, pop it into a glass of bubbly.
Fruit in the Garcinia family like Achacha contain a natural substance hydroxycitrate acid (HCA), in their skins. Studies have shown hydroxycitrate has unique properties that may help people who are looking to maintain a healthy body weight, when included as a part of a kilojoule-controlled eating plan. Just wash and remove the skin, blend it, add water and leave it to brew overnight for a refreshing drink (for further recipe details, please click here).
The Achacha plantation is in the Burdekin Shire district, a district “built of liquid gold” – so called because the region is situated on a vast natural underground aquifer which is replenished with water from the mighty Burdekin River.
As well as being one of the largest sugar cane producing area in Australia, the Burdekin is also the mango and melon capital of Queensland and has a multi-million dollar horticultural industry, grazing and prawn farming.
With more than 300 glorious sunny days each year, miles of sandy beaches, unspoiled mangrove estuaries, unique wetlands, abundant birdlife, walking tracks and friendly country towns the Burdekin is a wonderful place to visit.
Burdekin River lrrigation Area Scheme
The source of the area’s water wealth and points of touristic interest can be found at http://www.burdekintourism.com.au
Wongaloo (Cromarty Wetlands)
One of the most important water areas for birds in Queensland, Wongaloo can be found nearby. Although not yet established for tourism, significant birdlife can be seen from adjoining roads.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science
This is one of the world’s top marine research institutes. It is open for inspection. http://www.aims.gov.au.
Achacha is the name we gave to the achachairú (Garcinia humilis selecto) which is a highly prized fruit cultivated in small orchards in the Bolivian Amazon Basin in South America. Achachairú means “honey kiss” in an indigenous Guaraní language.
Ah-cha-cha! Think Ah! Then think of the dance . . .
Follow the sketches: Pinch and Pop! After the first or second attempt, you will be an expert, appreciating the protective skin. The seed is not normally eaten, but may form part of a drink.
Yes it can – in Bolivia it is made into a refreshing drink which is also used as a hunger suppressant and in food recipes. See recipe on Eating & Serving page.
The Achacha is from the same family and is similar in taste to the mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), known as “the queen of tropical fruit”, which is grown throughout tropical Asia particularly in Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia. Local and imported mangosteen are available in Australia from time to time.
However the Achacha has a thinner golden skin, compared to the mangosteen’s thicker dark purple skin, it has about 25% more flesh per kilogram than the mangosteen, and it is not as sweet as the mangosteen. The Achacha has a wonderful balance between sweet and tart, with a delicate sorbet finish which makes it quite different to all other fruit and very refreshing.
The Achacha is aimed at all food lovers who will respond to the fine taste and nutritious qualities of an attractive, eco-friendly fruit. Children of all ages love it! Diabetics will appreciate its low sugar content.
Not at all! As the Achacha is enclosed in its own “packaging” it will be protected until eaten. The fruit is low in fruit sugars so you are not left with sticky fingers!
There are many fruits which are available elsewhere, particularly in tropical countries, which are not grown in Australia. Some don’t travel well, others have short shelf life and are not commercially suitable. In many cases the investment involved in obtaining government approval for importing seeds and then setting up a plantation from scratch is prohibitive. In the case of the Achacha the idea of growing the fruit in Australia developed over 30 years: one of the group’s founders had grown up with the fruit and knew its potential, so he had the patience to obtain the necessary permits and assemble a team to make the project a reality.
Our plantation is in the Burdekin, North Queensland.