Aguaje/ Moriche Palm/ Mauritia Flexuosa

Today’s object of desire is the moriche palm, Mauritia flexuosa. So for everyone out there with a curious palate that’s open to new experiences, here are Aguaje, an especially unique fruit that everyone should introduce their taste buds to at least once. It’s another “superfruit” falling from the tree, fresh from the Peruvian rain forest. Aguaje (pronounced ag-wah-hey), comes from the Moriche Palm tree, a palm which can grow to be 35 meters high. The leaves form a crown like shape at the top and the fruit weighs down lower branches, forming a skirt around the tree. The fruit is covered with purplish brown scales covering a yellow-orange pulp which protects the inner seed.

Aguaje fruit contains the highest concentration of beta-carotene (Vitamin A). Compared to the carrot and spinach (both known for having high Vitamin A content) the Aguaje fruit contains five times more. Carotenoids found in Aguaje oil protect the skin against the damaging effects of sunlight for neutralizing free radicals on the skin. Beta-carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidants, known for its cellular renewal ability and also for its excellent natural capacity of skin exfoliation. It is consumed naturally in juices, jams,candy, ice cream, etc. Traditionally, there are three types of aguaje: Shambo (red orange fleshy and oily pulp). Blue shambo (when the fruits acquire a bluishcolor because they are soaked in hot water to cause its ripening) Killoaguaje (bittersweet pulp and Bellow color) In Peru,it is known as aguaje; it is called buriti in Braziland moriche in Colombia andVenezuela.

These fruits resemble exactly heads of snakes. Their coarse skins look very much like the scales of a brown snake. Moriche palm fruits are delicious fresh, but are also popular for dessert dishes such as ice-cream. The trees yield huge numbers which are laid out to dry before being sent to market. The Moriche palm naturally occurs alone or in communities, and requires an abundant supply of water. For this reason, they dominate floodplains and swamps where the soil is soft and moist. The location where they grow is the result of their seeds being dispersed by water when an area is inundated. This species is dioeciously; plants have only male or female flowers. Only individuals with female flowers form fruits. Brasilian natives treat the Moriche tree as sacred because it contains the nutrients and support needed to sustain life. Natives use the oil to protect the skin and to treat a variety of skin conditions including burns and sunburn. The oil, which is cold-pressed from the pulp of the fruit, has traditionally been used as a “soothing” oil by natives (used on burns, for example). In the cosmetic industry, the Moriche oil has found its way into treatment creams, body butters, shampoos and cleansers.

Aguaje Shake

Ingredients
4 oz. Aguaje pulp, chilled
1-1/2 cups cold low fat milk
8 teaspoons sugar
3 cups crushed ice

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.

 

About zoom50

“It’s amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease”
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8 Responses to Aguaje/ Moriche Palm/ Mauritia Flexuosa

  1. akamonsoon says:

    These look good! We are still on the look up for pachira. I asked my husband the other day if he had heard of pachira and he hadn’t. My search continues…. :)

  2. zoom50 says:

    If you can’t find it in Spanish stores, try looking on Indian supermarkets. I know there are a bunch of competing brands in Indian grocery stores (and I’ve seen them in regular supermarkets from time to time). Good luck :)

  3. zoom50 says:

    A good bet is to try it out at your local (in USA) Peruvian restaurant. Some restaurants sell it fresh or in powder.

  4. recogiendopiedras13 says:

    Ah, aguaje! Last time I was in Peru I had this a few times! The aguaje ice cream is pure heaven. The fruit itself is pretty bitter but not too bad. I also got to see someone climb an aguaje tree and cut down the fruit! Huge part of the culture. Americans snack on chips. Peruvians snack on aguaje.

    • zoom50 says:

      I have never tried Aguaje fruit before, but I hope I will get the chance to try it someday. You’re lucky; you eat them there! Local lore says that Aguaje is rich in female hormones (oestrogens) and has caused the female population of Iquitos to outnumber men 5 times to 1.
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. myhotsecrets says:

    Reblogged this on The Rump Review and commented:
    Moriche Palm’s Roots

  6. monica says:

    where can I buy this fruit in the new jersey area???? please help need it bad

  7. chiruka11@aol.com says:

    I have heard that it also has female hormones, so very good for women and also for their skin.

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