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An Amazing Undiscovered Jungle Nut: Meet Macambo

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Every so often there’s a superfood that rises from obscurity to become a global sensation. In the years past, we’ve seen it happen with foods such as quinoa, açaí, cacao, and spirulina. Sometime soon, I’ve got my bets that the macambo nut will make its way to this list.

Photo: Scott Montgomery

The next superfood?

The macambo nut is loaded with nutrients. It has proteins, fibers, omega-9 fatty acids, and even a caffeine alternative that helps to boost your mood. In comparison to other common nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and Brazilian nuts, macambo is in a class by itself.

A way to spice up almost any dish

Macambo nuts (in the back) being roasted on a street-side grill in the jungles of Peru (Photo: Scott Montgomery)

The macambo nut has a grounding and smooth taste. The nuts are great by themselves after being lightly roasted, and they can also be added to a variety of dishes in order to add flare. Try adding crumbled nuts on a salad, or on top of your sandwich. They can even be used for desserts, including chocolates made out of ground macambo nuts.

Cacao’s grandfather?

 

According to the story that many locals tell in the area of San Martin, the macambo nut is the grandfather of the cacao bean. When you witness macambo tree and the cacao tree side-by-side, you’ll see why. While cacao trees grow only several meters high, Macambo trees can grow to a height of up to thirty meters. People revere the macambo tree, because it looks over the cacao tree, providing shade and protection.

But for those with ancestral roots in the jungles, the comparison between these two beans is much more than physical: the two beans have a spiritual connection. There are many legends and stories that elders tell about the connection between these two plants, going all the way back to creation.

How do find it

 

Photo: Scott Montgomery

 

If you travel to the region of San Martin, where Tarapoto is located, or the Iquitos area, you’re likely to come across the macambo nut. It can get tricky though because in Iquitos it goes by a slightly different name: majambo.

Macambo season runs from the months of April to June. If you’re in these parts of the jungle around these months, then you’re likely to come across it at most any market. If you’re out of season, it might be more difficult to find, but it’s still possible.

If you can’t get to the jungle, fret not. There are many places where you can purchase it online.

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Scott Montgomery is a multi-medium storyteller and holistic creative, a travel guide and transformational coach, whose core mission is to help others to live authentically with purpose and intention in order to make an impact in the world. After earning his masters degree in creative writing at Arizona State University in 2013, he made the move to Peru in order to write about indigenous communities of the jungles and the Andes, and to explore what this might have to do with his own life path. These years of traveling and living across the country have helped him to embrace a more purposeful lifestyle that's guided by the values of collaboration, creativity, and transformation. To find out more about what Scott's up to and how you can get involved, visit his personal website www.voyagewithscott.com