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For this week’s fermented food, I chose to post a review of one of Tropical Traditions’ most unique products. This is not a product that I had heard of before shopping on their site. When I realized that it was a fermented food, I thought it would be the perfect addition to this series.
Atchara is a traditional Philippine food that is regularly served with meals. Every culture has that one dish that is a staple in their diet, like the Germans and sauerkraut, or the Koreans and kimchi. Well, Atchara is like that for the Filipino culture.
Papaya has long been used as a digestive aid and is often used by people who have stomach and digestive issues. Japanese researchers have found that the native Philippine papaya has the highest amount of papain (the digestive enzyme) of most varieties, up to four times more than imported papayas. The papayas for Tropical Traditions’ atchara are harvested when they are still green, which ensures that they contain the highest amounts of enzymes. Green papaya also contains very high levels of antioxidants. Living here in CO, I would never have access to green papaya, short of this product.
Tropical Traditions has spent over five years developing the perfect Atchara recipe. One thing that Brian and Marianita Shilhavy (the founders of Tropical Traditions) noticed when they were living in the Philippines is that Atchara was often made with refined white sugar and distilled vinegar. They wanted to develop a recipe that is similar to the traditional style, without the use of refined ingredients. To make their version, they use their own raw coconut water vinegar, organic muscabado sugar, organic raw ginger, Philippine Tagalog garlic, and unrefined sea salt. Simple ingredients that yield a unique and tasty product.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a sample of this product at no charge. I was under no obligation to post a review or giveaway, nor did I receive any monetary compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links and/or ads. I am part of their affiliate program and when you make a purchase through any of these links, I earn a small commission on each sale. Read our full terms and conditions here.
But How Do You Use It?
When I first got the jar, I was a little unsure of what to expect. Would it be sweet? Would it be sour? Would it taste like papaya (which I’m honestly not a fan of)? S, I apprehensively cracked open the jar a took a took a small bite. I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn’t taste like papaya at all, which I consider a good thing, since I don’t like papaya. It is tangy and vinegary. I love vinegar and since I’ve started incorporating more fermented foods into my diet, I regularly crave a good strong vinegar flavor with my meals. My body is used to having something fermented and this is a great addition to my fridge.
It goes great with protein, like chicken, beef, hot dogs, or even tuna (mixed in like you would pickle relish). I will just eat a small dish of it with heavier meals (and lighter meals too) to help with digestion and help cut down on the richness of the food. We had roast beef recently and it went great with that.
All in all, I’m very pleased and I will be ordering this again. The best part? I don’t have to make it! 🙂 Sometimes I start feeling lazy and get behind on making ferments, so it’s nice to have something reliable to fall back on.
Ready to try some for yourself? Use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter to win a jar of your own. Make sure you check back next Sunday to see if you’re the winner. The winner will be announced on the blog and will have 72 hours to respond to claim their prize.
If you’re like me and you don’t like to wait, Atchara is currently on sale on the Tropical Traditions website for $8.99 for a 16oz jar. If you order before tomorrow night at midnight, you get free shipping too! Use code 12153 at checkout for free shipping. If you’re a new customer, you’re also eligible for a copy of Tropical Traditions’ Virgin Coconut Oil book with your first order. Choose “referred buy a friend” and enter number #6965958 to receive your copy. If you want to learn more about their products, make sure you check out their website. Learn more about their coconut oil in this informative video.