Palm Heart and Pineapple Fermented Salsa

Palmito or palm heart is hands down one my foods in any shape or form. In Brazil you can find different varieties, from preserved to fresh ones…

If you don’t know what it is, it basically the “heart” or trunk of some varieties of local palm trees. The one I used to eat as a kid, jucara, it’s now a protected species of the very rare Atlantic Rain Forest.You cannot have it anymore, as the extraction of the heart kills the plant. Nowadays, they usually use pupunha or acai palm trees, as they can be sustainably harvested.

I know it is not as common in the UK but you can usually find some Green Giant ones in the canned vegetables section, and that would work just as well.


This is an easy peasy recipe, to be honest I love it eating fresh straight from the mixing bowl. If you can resist, it is even lovelier fermented. This is a super quick fermentation, one day- two days top as the sugars in the pineapple make it very active.

It is pineapple season over here but – alas – if you can’t find some nicely sweet ripe ones you can always look at some canned ones. The only change is that you might need to add a little boost or starter to your salsa to make it sure it fizzes!

It makes a great side dish for a BBQ but also works just as well in a lettuce wrap as little snack or to bulk up tacos too.


Mix all the prepared ingredients. You can adjust the chilli component, if you like it hot add some more. If you like it mild, de-seed them. Squeeze the lime and add the salt.

If you are eating straight up, I would suggest living it on the side for 10 minutes. This will allow the flavour to develop and juices to run.

If you are fermenting add to a screw top jar, packing it all tightly. You want to be able to fill the jar 1in from the top. Leave on a plate at the counter for 1-2 days. You will see bubbles rising from the side.

If you are using canned fruit, I would suggest add just 1 tsp of starter such as a brine from a fermented pickle or even kombucha. Not essential but it does give it a head start.