From the Kitchen: Acai Cacao Crunch

Dedicated to serving “Imagination in Every Bite,” Mochidoki’s culinary team is always on the lookout for exciting new flavors and ingredients. We find inspiration in all kinds of trends and traditions to take our mochi ice cream in new directions. Throughout the year, we introduce limited edition seasonal flavors so you can keep your menu fresh. How we come up with our seasonals is our secret sauce, but in this series, we invite you to take a sneak peek inside our kitchen.  

This May, we’re excited to introduce Acai Cacao Crunch– and to highlight our star ingredient … the acai berry 

What was the inspiration behind this flavor?

As we thought about the perfect flavor to celebrate the warmer spring months, our culinary experts set out to capture the feeling of Santa Monica sunshine in a perfect mochi bite. We wanted to design a flavor that straddles the world of clean eating and sweet indulgence – acai and chocolate are a natural pairing as both are native to the tropics. The coconut in our vegan base ties these two flavors together and creates the sensation of eating a refreshing acai bowl perfectly wrapped in soft chewy mochi.

Mochidoki Acai Berry Fruit
Image courtesy of Britannica

What is acai?

Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a small dark purple fruit, approximately 1” in diameter, that looks like a grape and comes from South America. Because acai contains a pit like an apricot or olive, it’s technically a stone fruit – or “drupe” – though it’s commonly referred to as a berry. 

The acai berry has a delicious tropical, naturally sweet taste. For thousands of years, it’s been a staple food in the Amazon region, becoming a popular export in the 1990’s.

Hailed in North America as a superfood, acai berries are packed with antioxidants, fiber and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Where does acai come from?

The acai fruit grows on the acai, “açaizeiro” palm tree, a species of palm tree (Arecaceae) native to the rainforests of the Amazon basin. 85% of all acai consumed globally comes from northern Brazil.

In the local language (Tupi), the name acai comes from the word ïwaca'i, meaning "[fruit that] cries” – some say in reference to the the juicy pulp of the açaizeiro’s coconuts, while others share the legend of a heartbroken mother’s tears that led to the discovery of the palm and its juicy berries.

Mochidoki Mochi Ice Cream Acai Cacao Crunch Acai Bowl

What does acai taste like?

With a flavor that’s a cross between blackberries and chocolate, acai has a more earthy flavor than other berries which tend to be sweeter. Descriptions of Acai range from “slightly tart with an earthy backbone” to notes of raspberry and pomegranate, tropical and refreshing.

How is acai used?

Once harvested, acai berries are soaked to soften the tough outer skin, the pip (stone) is removed, and then they’re mashed to form a dark purple paste.

It’s typically sold as frozen pulp, juice, or powder – in North America, acai is commonly sold in the form of "acai bowls", a combination of frozen acai puree or acai powder with other ingredients, such as nut milk, fruit juice, fruit, nuts, oatmeal, and sweeteners.  

We hope you have fun experimenting with a wide variety of toppings to plate and complement the Acai Cacao Crunch mochi.

Ready to introduce your customers to Acai Cacao Crunch? It’s available to order now!