Friday, December 07, 2007

I don't know when I decided to systematically try all the different kinds of juices in the supermarket, but I have. It dawned on me the other day as I found myself inspecting half a dozen cartons of multi-vitamine juice to find the best deal and / or fruit juice content. This kind of thing happens to me occasionally: about four years ago, before I drank beer or wine, I decided to try as many kinds of soda in the grocery store and "rate" them. I use the word "rate" very loosely, because my scale had no real order and depended mostly on my mood at the time. In order to give my enterprise a dull shine of scientific legitamacy, and to distract myself from the stupidity of it, I dunked it in a bath of exoticism, tasting only imported Mexican sodas. I persued this experiment with a private mastubatory intensity that only further convinced me of the justice and righteousness of it, but none of it, neither the warm glow of critical opinion or flacid analysis of appraisal, was enough to keep it from dying silently as the stream of my thoughts shifted away from it, leaving the fields barren and dry.

But these things never truly die, do they? No, they live on, deep inside, and flower again at the next rain. I don't know exactly what this "next rain" was: maybe it was that peculiar loneliness what comes with being abroad, or maybe it was the weather, the constant cloud cover, that brought me to it again. Whatever it was, I fell to myself and started in on this newest crusade. My first juice was a carton of Ananassaft (pineapple juice). It wasn't bad, thick and eerily reminiscent of Jolly Ranchers, but not bad. Its cloudy color and viscosity brought to mind the gelatine powder I had to mix into my grandfathers orange juice when he was staying with us over the summer, but I rationalised every thick swallow with glowing and reverent thoughts on my increased vitamine C intake. All in all, it wasn't that bad for 60 cents, but a bit disappointing.

My next go-round was with Apfelsine (orange). It's a standard and needs to be tried at some point, if only to say you've done it. And this is scientific, remember, so you have to have a control group. Always think the Scientific Method. Always. As it turns out, it was sub-par: the juice was sour (there has to be just a bit more sugar in my orange juice if I'm actually going to enjoy it), and there was pulp. I don't like pulp. Actually, I don't like solids in my liquids. I'm a purist in this sense, a believer in the Oneness of liquids . The only solid I allow in my drinks is the occasional ice cube, but I've even come to trying to avoid those, since melted ice can make your drinks taste funny, like the fumes from a Windex bottle. Again, the thoughts of vitamine intake kept me going to the end of the carton, but like the pineapple juice, it fell slightly below the mark.

Which brings us to the multi-vitamine juice. It's good, very good, in fact, but I can't drink. I just can't stand the after taste, those few seconds after you swallow and the distinct taste of the artichoke extracts slide across the back of your toungue. I don't know whose bright idea it was to put extracts of artichoke in the juice, or what purpose it was supposed to serve, but it's disgusting. Like my adversion to solids in my juice, I also, strangely enough, don't enjoy drinking juice that tastes like a cold anti pasta plate at an Italian restaurant. If I want to eat pickles or artichokes, I'll eat pickles or artichoke, but only that: eat. Any other mode of consumption is wrong and should be done away with, like laugh tracks, reality TV and the Electoral College. And I have to admit that the experience shocked me (I very rarely faced with abominaton), but it has not wounded me, it has not stopped me. For though more timid than before, my arbitrary obsession goes on. I have much to learn and a reader(ship) to please! Onward to grape fruit, apple and juices unknown! Forward, in the name of progress!


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