Acai (pronounced as /əˈsaɪ.iː/) is a deep purple berry that originates from Brazil and due to its extremely high content of antioxidants, it’s considered the most nutritious fruit in the world. The new wave of health consciousness and the raging superfood craze, which is increasingly spreading in Budapest, as well, gave rise to The Acai Spot, which opened last year and is unique in Hungary in a way that it offers fresh acai paste bowls. We tested it!
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a superfood is “a food that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.” Such food is broccoli, blueberries, salmon, eggs or spinach. As a result of the growing interest in superfoods, certain products appeared in the Western markets from Europe and outside the US, which although they have been known for hundreds of years, their name and taste are new to us. The acai is an exotic relative of the blueberry, similar in flavor yet fuller and sweeter. It is rich in vitamins C, K, B, E, trace minerals and antioxidants, and is also thought to have anti-aging and cholesterol-lowering properties.
The exclusivity of these magic berries is even more enhanced by the fact that they can only be stored for a short time, so most acai products available in Europe are made from the powdered version of the fruit. The Acai Spot, which opened in August 2021, is a novelty in domestic gastronomy: the fruit arrives in Hungary in the form of fresh sorbet, which is a far more intense flavor experience and contains more active substances. This is topped with additional fresh fruit, locally made granola, peanut and almond butter in bowls of various sizes. A medium portion is enough for a solid lunch or a filling breakfast!
The Acai Spot franchise was founded by Brazilians in Dubai in 2015. The Hungarian shop is not only the first in Europe, but thanks to the Hungarian owners, it also offers a broader selection of food (a variety of salty lunches). The URBA interior design studio and interior stylist Zsuzsi Gulyás took the interior to a new level, which has served as a guideline for the rest of the chain since the opening. The key task of the interior styling was to distract visitors as much as possible from the fact that they were in a shopping center. Thus, luscious plants growing in all directions were used to create a natural atmosphere.
“Acai berry is a South American fruit, which immediately evoked the jungle theme for me. I started criticizing myself right after, not to be so commonplace and not to hate my idea already. So I took a different approach, away from the palm tree wallpaper. For example, I found a funny porcelain parrot and chose bolder fabrics for the clean covers composed by URBA. I think it can work well if you can drag yourself out when you think of an easier solution,” said Zsuzsi Gulyás, whom we previously interviewed at length on her work.