Saturday, February 23, 2008

Food: Orange Juice



I was born and raised in Florida, which means that I've ingested a glass of orange juice at least once a week for pretty much my entire life. Now, a lot of people enjoy OJ, but when you live in Florida, it's practically a staple (it's also the official state beverage). And I'm not talking about that awful Minute Maid-type stuff that comes from concentrate, but the direct juice - about the only thing local producers do to it before it hits shelves is pasteurization.

I tend to buy one brand - Indian River Select. It's relatively expensive, but the fact that it often sells out in local supermarkets while other varieties are left untouched stands as mute testament to its quality. It tends to be a bit sweeter and fuller than the national brands, though obviously every batch is different. The other Florida brands are pretty good, too, such as Florida's Natural. Nothing is quite as good as going to an independent orange grove and buying direct, though, but those small time groves are often the victim of the aggressive development we have here in the state.

Orange juice itself is pretty good for you, except for the huge amounts of sugar it contains (almost as much as soda). It's obviously chock full of vitamin C, but you'll also get a healthy dose of potassium, too. As the above commercial shows, the citrus industry is a huge part of our economy, so they usually find ways to pimp out the product.

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