With rich geography like the Andes Mountains and the Amazon rainforest, Peru introduced superfoods quinoa and acai berries to the world. Lucuma, the latest nutritious food hailing from Peru is appearing to menus globally.
The fruit resembles a large, orange-fleshed avocado with a caramel taste profile. Health benefits of lucuma are that it’s high in beta carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, and fiber. As well as containing antioxidants and potassium, which are thought to be good for your heart, immune system, and skin.
Growing at altitudes of about 9,000 feet, it is impossible to find fresh outside of South America due to lucuma’s delicate nature it begins to spoil right after picking.
So how are chefs and retailers like Moon Juice and Walmart acquiring it?
Shipped around the world frozen or in powdered form, lucuma has made its way to menus and homes alike.
As a powder, lucuma is often promoted as a sweetener. Juice bars present it as a booster, but it's popularly found in desserts.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana in San Francisco serves lucuma ice cream with a chocolate mousse. Rosaliné in Los Angeles creates lucuma ice cream bonbons, and Nazca Mochica in Washington offers it in a tiramisu. Chef Erik Ramirez of Michelin “bib gourmand” restaurant Llama Inn, currently uses lucuma in a mousse but plans to make the fruit a bigger deal at his soon-to-open rotisserie chicken spot Llamita in Manhattan’s West Village.
“We’re going to give lucuma more exposure,” said Ramirez. Planning to offer it in a smoothie mixed with Peruvian coffee. “It’s going to be on display in all its glory.”
Learn more about the Peruvian superfruit taking over menus in the video above and at “Bloomberg.”