The little-known nut that may save at-risk rainforests
By Richard Baimbridge
Business reporter, Bali
Food scientist Marcello Giannuzzi asks an intriguing question.
What do Italy and the Indonesian rainforests have in common? he says. Gelato, he quickly answers himself with a smile.
While few of us would make a connection between Italian ice cream, and Indonesia's tropical forests, Mr Giannuzzi is forging one thanks to a nut that is little-known outside of the Asian country, or even within.
The nut in question is called kenari, and it grows on the tree of the same name, which is native to northern and eastern islands and regions of Indonesia.
Harvested after they have fallen from wild trees, that can be more than 40 metres tall, the mild-tasting nuts have a buttery mouth feel, which Mr Giannuzzi says makes them an excellent dairy substitute.
With that in mind he launched a kenari-based vegan ice cream brand earlier this year, called Nth Wonder.
Based in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta as well as Bali, after a successful launch of the ice cream in its home market, the firm now plans to export to Singapore, and then Europe and the US.
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