Ark of taste
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Umari (Poraqueiba sericea) is a fruit of the tree with the same name that grows in the Amazonian jungle at the border between Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Its natural habitat in Peru is along the Amazon River where the climate conditions necessary for its growth can be found. The umari starts to produce fruit in the third year of the tree’s life and harvesting is performed between January and April.
The umari fruit is oval, with a smooth yellow, red or black peel depending on the variety and degree of ripeness. The pulp has an oily consistency and covers a mesocarp containing just one seed.
It has an intense aroma and buttery texture, and is actually used by jungle inhabitants as a vegetable butter to spread on things like “casabe”, a bread made from starch obtained from the yuca. In the Colombian part of the Amazon basin, starch obtained from fermenting the seeds is used to make a type of Casabe (Casabe de pepa de Umari is a product of the Ark of Taste).
In the Maynas Peruvian province some indigenous communities use the umari fruit to make a non-alcoholic drink called Cahuana. This is made by mashing the pulp of the fruit with yuca starch, obtaining a dense liquid.
Due to climate change and increasingly intense deforestation of the Amazon basin, fewer and fewer umari trees are present. Knowledge on the culinary use of the fruit and seed represent a gastronomic heritage of the local communities.

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Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Dauro Mattia Zocchi, Masaki Enomoto, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino