Category: Miscellaneous

Achacha

Honestly, it takes some time to learn to appreciate little things in life.

Like me, lots of South American really believe that everyone in the world has (or know someone that has) some fruit trees in their backyard.

Mangoes, limes, oranges, Brazilian cherries, star fruits, bananas, plums just grow everywhere and fresh markets happen every day on a different suburb.

In the way to school kids can climb some black berries trees and indulge themselves, as long as they keep the berries away from their uniforms.

Fresh lemonade are the usual refreshment after dinner and salads are always dressed with fresh limes too.

The reality is that few places in the world have the weather and soil conditions to naturally produce such a variety of fruits as South America does.

It can sound a bit obvious however once I started missing some of the fruits that I could easily have and once I came to realise that a dollar coin can’t really buy fruits (in the plural), I’m now really grateful for all the ones that I can find in Australia: some seasonal ones, others imported, some beautiful but tasteless, some really good ones and what excites me more these days, some that I’ve never tried before!

Last summer was the first time I tried Achacha (or achachaira). This little tropical fruit is originally from the Amazon Basin of Bolivia and lucky me, it is now grown in Queensland, Australia.

Its flavour and texture are quite unique and to give you an idea of how amazing it is, its appearance is similar to mangosteen and lychee, with a skin as hard as passionfruit, big seeds, soft white flesh, beautiful orange colour when ripped and the flavour just makes me think of a combination of guava and the bitterness of Brazilian cherries. It is just sensational!

If you haven’t seen or heard of Achacha before, you are missing out so go and make sure you try them out before they go out of season. Just appreciate how lucky you are for not having to go to a fancy restaurant to go through some new gastronomy experience. Just enjoy being special and appreciate nature’s generosity with you.

Funny enough, achar in portuguese means “to find” so Achacha is by far my best “achado” in Australia!

Find out more about Achacha here

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Are you allergic to anything rare or expensive?

A truffle hog allergic to black truffles

Have you ever heard of any woman that is allergic to diamonds? Well, I haven’t.
I once saw a homeless in America asking for money and he would swear to God he was allergic to coins.That was hard to believe.

But my question is specifically about food allergies.

Do you know anyone that is allergic to something like Almas caviar? These are roe (or eggs) of the beluga sturgeon, a fish that is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. The eggs from a 100+ year old beluga can cost around AUD $13,750 per kilogram.

So what about Kopi Luwak coffee, are you allergic to it? This is most expensive coffee in the world, prepared using coffee cherries that have been eaten by a little catlike animal called Asian Palm Civet, partially digested, and harvested from its feces.
The beans are then rinsed, sun dried, roasted and brewed and eventually ready to be made into a cup of coffee.
People will eventually pay around $440 per kilogram for this cat’s poop coffee from Indonesia.

What about saffron? White truffle? Black truffle?

The truth is that I’ve grown up playing barefoot in the grass, I’ve always shared my food (yep, and the germs too) with other kids and maybe for all of that I’ve grown up healthy and allergies free.
I can actually eat anything and I’ve never had a single sensitive reaction to products or food.

Until recently when I tried black truffles.

Black truffles are highly prized edible mushrooms that grow underground on the roots of trees.
Looking for truffles in open ground is almost always carried out with truffle hogs (specially trained pigs) or more recently, dogs.
Production is almost exclusive to Europe with Tasmania as the big player outside of Europe.
They are rare and very time consuming to find so that is what makes its price quite special too: AUD $ 3.00 per gram. (what a bargain!!! )

Since moved to Australia, I’ve eaten black truffles four times and in all those occasions, I felt extremely sick afterwards. Think of my tummy as one of those poor kids’ club where the richest kid of the neighbourhood (the little truffle) is not welcome and he is expelled as soon he comes in.
Honestly, this is the weirdest reaction that my body had to any sort of food!

A doctor told me once that our t-cells are like us: they learn to become good fighters by fighting. I really believe on that theory so I think the issue is that my body is just not used to it. So in this case I should either blame mum for never have used black truffle to cook for our family of 6 or maybe one of the friends from my childhood public school who never had a black truffle sandwich to share!

So maybe one day my breakies will be all about black truffles on scrambled eggs, Almas caviar on toast sprinkled with saffron, matching of course a cup of Kopi Luwak.

But while it doesn’t happen, I will continue avoiding black truffle just because I’m too allergic to it.

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