Econoblog

Never has one man done so much for so cheap.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Cranberry juice

I am trying to wean myself off of high fructose corn syrup. It is dang evil suff, a processed sugar which the body essentially turns instantly into fat because it doesn't know what else to do with it. The #1 vessel of HFCS in the American diet is of course soda pop, and I am a dude who can drink some pop. I was doing rather well in avoiding the stuff until they came out with that raspberry Dr. Pepper, which is just stupid good, but regardless, I am forcing myself to forgo soda and choose 100% fruit juices as the casual non-alcoholic beverage of choice.

Now, I like a juice with some dynamism, some legitimate power. Apple juice is useless. Almost no nutritional value, almost no flavor...were it a beer it would be Coors. Orange is ubiquitous to the point of verging on the mundane, apricot nectar's a bit heavy, prune is for the geriatric and the geriatric only. I had a long and successful run with grapefruit juice. 100% pure Ocean Spray White Graprefruit juice to be specific, and that's a juice that bites back right and proper. Nothing more refreshing on a scorching day than a swig of ice-cold grapefruit juice sending tart little slivers to the core like a frozen electric shock, like lightning made of ice.

Then there was that whole hurricane thing, and we ran out of white grapefruit for a while.

So what IS a boy to do?

I have climbed the mountain of truth, and on its peak grows the mystical cranberry. Actually, that's complete rubbish. Cranberries grow in acidic marshes. Still, I have tasted the crisp, clear future, and I have had to wade through a wall of overvarietized consumerism to do so.

For to buy a suitable 100% cranberry juice blend in this country is a thoroughly infuriating task.

Firstly, what most people know as cranberry juice is in fact cranberry juice COCKTAIL, which is a 27% juice blend that's mostly, you guessed it, High Fructose Corn Syrup. So forget anything with the word "Cocktail" on the bottle. On a wildly tangential note, Tom Cruise can go fuck himself. But anyway.

Second, once you have determined that you are looking at a bottle of something that is indeed 100% juice, you must wade through the various trendy Cran-Whatevers. Cran-Raspberry, which tastes like perfume. Cran-Pomegranate, which isn't bad but is sort of a distraction from the pursuit of truth. Cran-Blueberry, which is just disappointing. Et cetera, ad nauseum.

Now you've found it. The bottle says Cranberry, 100% Juice. Thing of it is, it is almost certainly not 100% Cranberry Juice. This is in fact available, however expensive, and moreover it is proof that Man can indeed burn himself if he stands too close to the infinite fire of truth. I have tried it, and it is rather like having your lungs forcibly filled with cranberry sauce in some sort of Thanksgiving ritual gone awry.

It is in the best interest of the casual consumer to find a cranberry-centric 100% Juice that exhalts the cranberry without smothering it.

And to understand smothering, you must understand the grape.

I am fond of that vine-ripened potentate, and of its viscous liquid that has graced the lips of Caesar and the veins of Jesus Christ. But there is a time and a place for the vino, and it is not in the humble Zen temple of the cranberry.

Yet, America's premiere juicierre, Ocean Spray, insists on draping their 100% Cranberry with the thick cloak of the grape, and the truth becomes lost. I do not want to think of the grape when I drink the cranberry. I do not want my mind polluted. The grape is an ass, a lugubrious houseguest overstaying his welcome. This is not a Roman bacchanal. This is serious.

This leaves us, at least in the Milwaukee market, with Langer's and Northland brand 100% Juice Cranberry Blends, and both of them know the answer: pear juice.

The pear is a solid yet perennially underrated pillar of the community among fruits, its stalwart nobility tarnished by the indignity of cafeteria fruit cup. Yet in the company of the cranberry, the two become truly alive, like the tall, square-jawed man of few words with a vivacious red-headed whirlwind on his arm, the type of couple who are a must-have on any social scene, the sort who assert control of any business arrangement or high-class soiree.

Yes, there's a bit of apple juice along for the ride but to hell with it. Northland even allow the boorish grape to stick his nose in the door like a third-rate W.C. Fields. This is inconsequential. These two brands allow the clarion chords of integrity and justice to shine through their beverages, even if you must hunt through literally dozens of timewasting varietals to find the one true beacon.

On a manufacturing perspective, I salute you.

And now, to get to the core of the annoyance. The Jewel-Osco chain of supermarket/drugstores have permanently gone under. Their location on North Avenue has been bought out by Pick 'N Save, and already compromises are surfacing in their stock. No longer can you purchase the $1.89 box of eleven Twix bars, you must buy the bag of ten for $2.79. Actually, that in and of itself has helped me swear off the Twix bars, but there remains the looming juice crisis.

Langer's Cranberry 100% Juice has vanished entirely from the shelves, and the Northland equivalent is now only available in the smaller size.

I am annoyed.

But I bought the small one anyway, and am drinking it now. It's nice.

4 Comments:

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Your post about freedom was inspiring. I'm behind you. I hope the minimalist variety of 'cool' which Apple is mass-producing and spoon feeding America doesn't somehow begin passing for individuality. Think different...indeed.

As for the high fructose corn syrup - AMEN brother. Any kind of hydrogenated anything is also worth avoiding. Skippy has a 'natural' peanut butter which is ASTOUNDINGLY DELICIOUS. Try it.

 
At 5:07 AM, Blogger Jim & Teresa said...

You can make your own cran-ade. Take one cup of the (yes, expensive 100%, usually found in the organic section) cranberry juice. Add water to fill a two quart pitcher. If you like it tart, don't add sweetner. Personally, I like it that way, and I also like it with some stevia. I've found it in Kash & Karry, soon to be Sweetbay, in the organic section. Not with the fruit juices. Publix carries Knudson. Also in the organic section. I'm sure you could get it in a Health Food Store too.

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger bobby said...

Well, as has happened in the past, I search for some mundane-ass topic like "health benefits of cranberry juice" and happen across someone blogging about with exquiste writing. Such is the case here. VERY useful and most well-put information, dude--thanks! The bitch is, NOW I'm gonna haveta be sucked into a few more of your posts, dammit! LOL

 
At 11:21 PM, Blogger bobby said...

Well, as has happened in the past, I search for some mundane-ass topic like "health benefits of cranberry juice" and happen across someone blogging about with exquiste writing. Such is the case here. VERY useful and most well-put information, dude--thanks! The bitch is, NOW I'm gonna haveta be sucked into a few more of your posts, dammit! LOL

 

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