Orange Juice Snobbery
So since I’ve been living alone, I’ve been buying groceries for myself. One thing I’ve been drinking more of is orange juice. I’m not quite sure why; probably because I think that if I drink high volumes of the stuff, I’ll be healthier than if I don’t. And it’s sort of worked. I think pretty much everyone in Michigan is currently sick except for me.
On my weekly grocery run, I always make sure to grab at least two things of orange juice. I go through two in a week, and sometimes more. I think a 2-2-3 pattern works out nicely. Typically I just buy what’s on sale at Meijer. So far, I’ve had pretty much all brands of orange juice available. There’s Minute Maid, Tropicana, Simply Orange, Meijer brand…
In short, I’ve become somewhat of an orange juice connoisseur.
I never could make the distinction before between “from concentrate” and not. These days, “not from concentrate” is equal to “tastes like crap.” I’m drinking some Meijer from concentrate orange juice as I write this, and 1) It tastes pretty bad, 2) I think it’s giving me heartburn.
Aside from the concentrate issue, we have things like pulp density, added vitamins, etc. There was one version of Minute Maid I bought that had some kind of weird joint drug in it… Needless to say my joints were feeling great after I drank it. Perhaps this is due to some placebo effect. Or perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m not quite old yet.
Also, there exist orange juices with an added “Omega-3” ingredient. Apparently this is good for you. But you get this ingredient from fish. Yeah, orange juice with fish in it. Not my idea of a tasty breakfast beverage. Incidentally, I think my multivitamin also has this fish stuff added. But I just swallow that whole. I guess it’s still gross, just somewhat less so.
But let’s keep on track. I’m blogging about orange juice, goddamn it! When I see OJ with added vitamins or minerals, I’ll probably go for that. Calcium is good, but normal is fine too. Last week, Tropicana was on sale. But they only had the “Low Acid” and “Healthy” versions. The “healthy” one apparently had half the sugar… I got the low acid one. And it tasted really damn good! I have to wonder where the acid went after being extracted from my orange juice. I can only hope it was used for good, and not evil.
Let’s get back to the pulp. I’ve been experimenting with pulp densities. So far, I’ve found that moderation is key; medium pulp works well. No pulp is just unnatural, and high pulp is just too chewy and hard to clean. Low pulp can be substituted if medium pulp is unavailable. The thing is, there’s no common pulp density measure between orange juice distributors. How high is high pulp? Only the juicers know for sure. I’ll continue experimenting with the pulp density levels until I reach, with a high confidence level, a consensus on my preference.
Due to cost and time issues, I have not yet ventured into the business of “home brewing” my orange juice. I think I’ll leave that job to the professionals. While there is something to be said about one who juices his own oranges, I cannot be bothered to perfect my skill in this particular craft.
In conclusion, there is no clear winner as far as orange juice brands go. I’ve only bought single brands of orange juice each week. I can say that I like Simply Orange, Minute Maid, and Tropicana. I haven’t tried the more expensive Meijer version yet. Perhaps in the future I will try a double blind orange juice taste challenge. But for now, I’ll just buy what’s on sale. I hope it’s something good this week…