Iquitos sets new Guinness World Record by preparing 751.30 kilos of aguaje pudding

A new dessert is introduced to Amazonian gastronomy.

(August 30, 2018) Today, Iquitos set a new Guinness World Record by preparing 751.30 kilograms of fruit pudding made with aguaje. The event organized by Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola and the Regional Government of Loreto took place on the Iquitos town square, where members of the public were offered a taste of the pudding. 

In this manner, the capital of Loreto added a new dessert—made with one of the region’s most representative fruits—to the Amazon’s diverse, exotic gastronomy. 

Making 751.30 kilos of this novel dessert required nearly 2 tons of fresh aguaje, from which 275 kilos of pulp were extracted. Tapioca flour, cornstarch, sugar, cloves, star anise and cinnamon were added to the pulp and the mixture was cooked over a low fire. This enormous amount of aguaje pudding was then displayed in a 5 by 1.5-meter stainless steel serving pan. 

“The purpose of this event is to tell the world that the Amazon is a living laboratory where we have an impressive variety of fruit, of which only about 20% is known. Aguaje is extraordinarily rich in vitamins A, B, C and can be used in school breakfasts,” explained Raúl Diez Canseco Terry, the founding president of USIL.

He said that aguaje palms make a contribution in two ways because, in addition to bearing nutritious fruit, they sequester carbon, thereby helping to mitigate climate change.

The regional governor of Loreto, Fernando Meléndez Celis, agreed with this perspective and remarked that from now on, school breakfasts distributed in the region should include aguaje in the form of pudding, in line with efforts to fight anemia in children.

The aguaje palm—whose scientific name is Mauritia flexuosa—grows along riverbanks, beside ponds and in marshes in the Amazon region of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.  

According to the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP/Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon), there are close to 7 million hectares of aguaje palms throughout our country’s Amazon region. 

The native communities that consume and sell this fruit are making great progress in sustainable harvesting practices; that is, they only remove the fruit, without cutting down the trees.