The genus Spondias is represented by at least ten species of fruit trees in tropical America, half of them found in Amazonia. They are usually 20-25m tall and produce great quantities of fleshy, orange or yellow fruits.The skin of the fruit is relatively thin, and the pulp (same colour as the skin) is acidic, sweet, aromatic and flavourful. Fallen fruits can be collected and eaten right beneath the tree, but most people take them home to remove the skin and separate the pulp with a sieve.
Resembling the orange, it has multiple applications in sweet and salty recipes, such as juices, ice cream, salty puree and even beer! Immature fruits can be preserved and used as pickles and olives. Fruits are hipocaloric, rich in vitamin A, phosphorus, iron and calcium! Taperebá’s, young leaves and tuberous roots are also edible. The leaves can be used in salads as a substitute for lettuce, and the tuberous roots as potato replacement. When processed into flour, they can be used for baking breads, cakes and cookies.
Apart from the gastronomic and nutritional potential, the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the UN (FAO) indicated Taperebá as a species with a great potential in agroforestry systems. Easy to propagate, tolerant to flooded soils, shade provider and bears fruit the whole year are some of the reasons. Moreover, forest trees attracts various animals like peccaries, tapirs and tortoises due to the fallen fruits, which helps preserving local fauna.
Taperebá is widely consumed in the north region of Brazil, but unfortunately not known in the rest of the country and other parts of the world. To know more about how TodaVida is trying to make this and other PANC more known worldwide, access: