Sitting on the side of a mountain eating the thready stalk of the inside of a palm tree, sweating my face off, I wiped the sweat out of my eye, stuck the palmito in my mouth, savored it and then thought, who thinks to open the inside of a palm tree and just eat it?
To whoever, thanks, because it is tasty.
In Brazil, we ate them all the time, and I went to a farm at some point outside Belém wher they harvest them.
In the U.S., they are $5 a jar, pickled in some sort of sour juice. Tasty, but not as, of course. They are also the only other thing I dedicate stomach space to on the Brazilian churrasco buffet besides the parade of meat.
I think I ate 15 once.
Here, I finally remembered them in the supermarket and dropped $5.
We were there volcano boarding and I remember Adam says, spitting it out, “they are sour and confusing. I hate them.”
Me: “I think I’ve been described that way.”
In Las Minitas, we were talking and Bernardo and Anunsciasion, my adopted family there, said, oh we have palmito!
This time, with more time, Bernardo and his sons, Marvin and Marlon, invited me to come with them at 7 a.m. to go harvest some, so they could cook it for me.
We hiked first to a second sort of look-out, lower with a different but just as grand view of mountain villages below, then, kept walking down despite me thinking about each step back up in the sun, til we found good palms.
I’m still not sure what made them good for harvesting palmito, except they were older.
Bernardo and Marlon made quick work of them with their matchetes.
They ended up with a white core, like the end of a giant leek, and we ate some right on the side of the mountain.
I stuffed it in and man was it delicious. Not sour at all and light.
we put the two cores into a bucket, and afloncina carried them back up.
today, Anunciascion cooked them two ways for breakfast: One pickled in a vinegar concoction, and the other in a sort of corn mash and cream.
I’d love to just eat a stalk.
Really cool to see how they do it, and to have them go cut one to try.