Until recently, smoothies were poured into a cup and sipped from a straw, but that all has changed with the rise of a new breakfast and brunch must-have: the açaí bowl.
Although it sounds exotic (it’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee), an açaí bowl is really just a smoothie poured out of a cup and into a bowl with a bunch of toppings. Before this summer I hadn’t heard of a smoothie bowl.
However, out of nowhere it seemed like I was constantly scrolling through Instagram after Instagram and looking at Snap story after Snap story of these bowls, but I didn’t understand the hype. Why was everyone so obsessed with these dishes? What was so different between the traditional smoothie and this açaí bowl?
All of a sudden, juice and smoothie bars popped up in multitudes. People kept buying into the craze, and with that, even more stores surfaced.
So to quench my curiosity, I decided to try this new fad for myself.
Over the weekend, the stormy weather had cleared and an 80-degree beach day had arrived. I quickly built up an appetite, tanning and sitting near the crashing waves. A new juice and smoothie bar was put into a vacant space in the area. After we packed up, a friend and I wandered into the restaurant, hungry. As a late lunch, I ordered the basic açaí bowl: açaí smoothie, banana, granola, and honey.
Just looking at it, I was satisfied. It was so pretty with its deep but vibrant purple and carefully placed banana. I scooped a spoonful of granola, smoothie, and banana into my mouth, and an explosion of various flavors hit my tongue. The banana’s subtle flavor perfectly balanced the smoothie’s sweetness, while the granola’s crunchy texture contrasted the açaí’s smooth consistency. I inhaled the entire bowl in 15 minutes.
So as for my question, are açaí bowls really worth the craze? The short answer: yes.
I paid $8 and change for a perfect portion. I walked away full but not too full where I was in agony. The flavors were unique, delicious, and refreshing for a hot summer day.
Although I thought the price was fair for what I got, it can still get pretty expensive. I can’t spend almost $9 every day for a breakfast, no matter how good it is. If you’re treating yourself to a yummy, yet healthy meal every once in a while, then yes, buy an açaí bowl. But if you can see yourself enjoying these bowls every day, I would try to make them on your own. That way you can customize your bowl with your favorite fruits and other toppings.
We also have a recipe for a green açaí bowl here.
Kasey Bandilla is a junior at Fordham University, majoring in Communications and Media Studies. She’s from a small town near the Jersey Shore, and, contrary to popular belief, she doesn’t know Snooki.