Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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guarana a beverage made in Brazil from the seeds of the guarana tree, Paullinia cupana. As Emerson (1908) writes: ‘The seeds are roasted and pulverised, after which the powder is moistened and formed into cakes and rolls of different sizes and many shapes. These are then dried in the smoke of green wood or, if the sun is hot enough, in the sun and become almost stone-like in their hardness. To make the beverage, all that is necessary to do is to scrape off with a knife about a teaspoonful of powder and pour it into a glass of water and the drink is ready. Sugar may be added.’ The drink is sometimes known as ‘Brazilian cocoa’. It is popular for its high caffeine content and ‘kick’.