Baobab the New Super Food
Food crazes come and go, but the fruit of the Baobab tree has been popular in Africa since time immemorial. And now the fruit is poised to take the rest of the world by storm. Baobab fruit, also known as Adansonia, is rich in vitamins, has a variety of applications and uses and most importantly has a delicious flavor described as a cross between grapefruit pear and vanilla according to national geographic.
What makes the Baobab So unique?
How about the fact that it's chocked full of vitamins and minerals. The fruit is said to have more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk. This has earned the tree it grows on the nickname "Vitamin Tree."
The Baobab tree grows in arid regions in Africa and Australia, and has long provided local peoples with shade, food, medicine and even water which the tree stores inside it's enormous hallow trunk. But the fruit from the tree is what's getting the most attention. It's combination of vitamin richness, flavor and use as a thickening agent has now captured the attention people outside of Africa.
International Baobab Market
Some think the Baobab will be the next superfood craze. But unlike many crazes that die once the food in question is found to be not as amazing as it's cracked up to be, some experts think that a stable demand for the Baobab might exist. Some estimates say that the potential size of the international market could be up to 1 billion US dollars.
Baobab fruit is already starting to be used in Jams as the main ingredient in both the US and the UK. But there are many other uses for the fruit. It is already dry when harvested and so is easily ground up and can be used as a thickener for soups as well as a spice. Baobab Fruit also comes packed with large seeds which are eaten through out Africa as a traditional snack food. Some even predict the baobab will make it's major western world debut in powdered form for milkshakes and smoothies, acting as both a thickener and a flavoring.
Benefits of the Baobab
Beyond it's health benefits, it also has financial benefits for African peoples. If baobab fruit really takes off and a new market for it is formed, a former cottage industry could soon find itself catapulted into the big time. Locals might be able to earn a decent living harvesting, processing and producing Baobab products for international markets. Already in some parts of Africa local peoples are harvesting Baobab as a cash crop and putting their kids through school with the proceeds according to National Geographic.