Pequi is a rare fruit that is commonly found in the Northern region of Brazil. It is also called “souari nut”. Souari nut is a delicious Brazilian fruit that plays an important role in sustaining the population and industries of the central region of Brazil.
Pequi is considered as a dangerous fruit to eat not because it is poisonous, but because it can seriously damage the eater’s tongue and gums. Though the skin is edible, the inner flesh is surrounded by sharp spines which can be very painful and extremely difficult to remove when eaten. Yet, this doesn’t stop Brazilians from having their share from this nature’s wonder. Brazilians love to eat it the same way roasted peanuts are eaten. The fruit has a thick mesocarp which is green-yellow in color. The seeds/nuts are the main attraction of pequi – yellow seeds lying on white pulp. Pequi seeds and Brazil nuts have similar characteristics; they can be roasted and enjoyed as a local snack.
The tree is grown with other cerrado trees in warm climates. Pequi grows slowly in the local areas of Brazil – the Northeast, South-Eastern, Center-West, and Northern parts of Brazil.
HEALTH BENEFIT OF THIS DANGEROUS BUT DELICIOUS BRAZILIAN FRUIT
Skin and Hair Care
Essential oils are usually extracted from the nuts and used in manufacturing moisturizers and shampoos. The oil can be extracted by solvents, such as ethanol and when used, can help to promote a healthy skin and hair.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Pegui is packed with vitamins and essential minerals that can help to lower blood pressure, thereby increasing blood flow. The anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce inflammation that can cause the blood vessels to tighten which often lead to cholesterol clogging.
The vitamin A found in pequi can prevent cataracts and macular degeneration, thus improving your vision.
Pequi’s abundance of oil makes it useful in biodiesel production. According to the Brazilian Petroleum National Agency, the biodiesel from pequi oil reached a conversion of over 98%.
Pequi Can Be Enjoyed in Traditional Dishes
This dangerous fruit is always cooked when used to make Brazilian dishes. The pequi is widely used in the cuisine of Goiás. Its unique flavor is makes it an essential ingredient for Pequi Rice (arroz com pequi).
Brazil Avenue Restaurant is a good place to enjoy goiás , arroz com pequi , and other Brazilian traditional dishes made with Pequi.