Known to natives as food of the gods, Cupuaçu (pronounced ku-pu-ah-SU) may not be as well known in the U.S. as Açaí, but we believe its moment in the spotlight is coming up fast. The fruit is not only uniquely delicious but it also provides amazing health and skin benefits.
Many have already seen the potential of Cupuaçu: Years ago, a Japanese company tried to trademark the name of the tree and fruit so they could sell Cupuaçu as a chocolate-coffee drink throughout the world. But Brazilians weren’t exactly excited for one of their much-loved fruits to be trademarked by another country; so to honor its place in Brazilian culture—and to keep it from being trademarked—Brazil declared Cupuaçu its national fruit.
Cupuaçu trees grow really well in the northern area of the country, and native people harvest the fruit during the tropical rainy season. Cupuaçu is even easier to harvest than most Brazilian fruits due to its sheer size: When it’s ripe, the fruit falls from the tree and locals simply pick it up off the ground. Since Cupuaçu grows naturally and is harvested without any disruption to the trees, it is considered one of the most sustainable fruits in Brazil.
For centuries, Cupuaçu has been a main food source for many native groups. The fruits are about the size of melons, and their pulp is creamy white and delicious. The pulp smells incredible—like a blend of chocolate and pineapple—and you can find it added to juices, ice cream and sweets in markets across the country.
Cupuaçu not only tastes delicious; it’s also incredibly good for you. The fruit contains essential nutrients, vitamins, and is also considered 'the king of superfruits' due to its high antioxidant concentration. It is also high in plyphenols, which are micronutrients that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Cupuaçu is said to boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, provide energy—and even increase libido!
Besides using the pulp as a nutritious and delicious source of food, locals also consider Cupuaçu seeds to be a type of cure-all. Native people have been known to chew the seeds to ease abdominal pain, and pregnant women use them to ensure a healthy baby. The seeds are also said to help newlyweds conceive—so maybe there is something to the whole libido rumor!
Cupuaçu is from the Cocoa family and therefore a cousin to Chocolate and Cocoa butter, and like Cocoa its oil is incredibly rich and moisturizing. In northern Brazil, locals cold-press Cupuaçu seeds to harvest their oil, which is then used to create a soft, thick butter. At Teadora we love Cupuaçu because the amount of moisture it provides in skincare formulas is unmatched. In fact, one study found that it provided more than 200 percent more moisture than ingredients like Lanolin and Shea butters. Other studies have shown that Cupuaçu butter can keep skin moisturized for up to eight hours after application, and help increase your skin’s moisture overall.
As one of nature’s most powerful moisturizers, Cupuaçu is an ideal fit for skincare products. You won’t believe how well it helps to rejuvenate cells, improve elasticity, and smooth and soften your skin, making it look refreshed and youthful. Cupuaçu butter can be used in creams and lotions, lipsticks, deodorants, sunscreens, pomades and baby products. It’s also fantastic for hair care products, giving your locks extra moisture and shine. It’s also great for beard butters!
Although Cupuaçu hasn’t yet become as mainstream Açaí, we know that it’s only a matter of time before this incredibly beneficial and sustainable fruit is making headlines around the world. For now, it’s one of our little “best kept secrets” and we’re already use it as a key ingredient in lip, body and hair products. Try it for yourself today! Click here to shop Teadora Cupuaçu infused products.
*For those of you with sensitive skin, it is important to note that Teadora uses NO synthetic fragrances. Teadora also uses only organic Cupuaçu Butter and Extracts sustainably harvested under the strictest guidelines to ensure the highest quality, conservation progress, and local community economic development.