Astrocaryum is a genus of about 36 to 40 species of palms native to
Central and South America and Trinidad.
Astrocaryum is a genus of spiny palms with pinnately compound
leaves–rows of leaflets emerge on either side of the axis of the
leaf in a feather-like or fern-like pattern. Some species are
single-stemmed, while others grow in multi-stemmed (caespitose)
clumps. They are pleonanthic—they flower repeatedly over the course
of their lifespan—and monoecious, meaning that there are separate
male and female flowers, but individuals plants bear both types of
Preparing and Eating the Flower
The flower is protected by a shell covered with hair-like spines.
The skin can be cut with a machete or knife, then peeled by hand.
The white flower inside is all edible raw, but be
to cut the small hair at the base. This flower is very nourishing
but lack of taste. Ignacio brought some grinned habano peppers mixed
with salt, rolled in a banana leave to add taste to most of the food
he gathers from the rainforest.
Preparing and Eating the Nut
The nuts come into grapes. They are very similar to
mini-coconuts. In their young stage, he flesh is soft and the nut
contains water. After maturing, it becomes very hard, there isn't
any water left and the flesh tastes very much like a coconut. The
shell is very tough and protected with a spiny skin. A machete will
cut it open, but the best way is to break the shell with a stone. If
nothing is available, people with strong teeth might follow
Ignacio's example. Personally I will try to find a stone because I
can't open it with my teeth.
Preparing and Eating the Heart and Shoots
Although there isn't very much too eat, the top part of the core
is the most delicious. It is sweet and tender. You find it by
cutting the core at the level where the branches start. After
removing all the branches and skins, you cut open the last layer and
extract the white core which is ready for consuming. As you split
the last branches apart, you might find some new shoots which are
also edible and delicious