Bonnie: The best tasting orange juice? The fresh-squeezed glassful I’ve sipped while sitting outside in a Florida orange grove. Second best? This new 100 percent Valencia orange juice. It’s sweeter and less acidic than Tropicana’s Pure Premium (which to date had been the gold standard of supermarket chilled juices.)
To be honest, at first I was skeptical — and confused — when the varieties of Tropicana Pure arrived at my doorstep. Skeptical about how this new Valencia juice could be described as the most premium Tropicana had ever offered, as I had thought that Tropicana Pure Premium was just that.
And confused about the name. Pure? Pure Premium? Pure Valencia? Huh?
I think I’ve finally deciphered and can explain it to you. Well, sort of. The new juice product we’ve selected as this week’s Featured Bite is Tropicana Pure Valencia, with 100 percent of its juice from Valencia oranges; the line is Tropicana Pure.
And that line includes Raspberry Açaí, Pomegranate Blueberry, Indian River Grapefruit and Peach Papaya Mango. Although these, too, are 100 percent “pure” juice, you won’t find me raving about the blends, as I prefer eponymous juices, not ones with other added flavors. Their grapefruit is good, but too tart for me!
And while we’re talking grapefruit juice, let me add a Health Note from WebMD: “limit fresh grapefruit consumption while taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, as it can interfere with the liver’s ability to metabolize these medications.” If you’re a grapefruit juice lover, discuss this with your health professional.
Back to Valencia.
To describe the Valencia’s uniqueness, Tropicana spokesperson Karen May explained, “Like wine that exclusively uses one variety of grapes from a single vineyard, Tropicana Pure Valencia is crafted from the juice of only a single variety of oranges – Valencia oranges – and select groves, from the top 3 percent of Tropicana’s harvest.
“Tropicana Pure Premium is blended from three main orange varietals—the Valencia, Hamlin and Pineapple oranges”
Me? From here forward, I’ll stick to this new sweet and flavorful 100 percent Valencia juice.
And for a refreshing midday beverage, I’ll mix a third Valencia juice and two-thirds fresh seltzer — for a yummy orange spritzer.
Bryan: You might ask, what is there really to say about orange juice at this point? The beverage has become such a staple of morning routines that we rarely discuss its various qualities these days. Americans drink it in all forms, but mostly from concentrate and rarely with any thought, aside from price. I was among this group of ‘sale’ buyers until I recently took my first sip of Tropicana Pure Valencia and was completely surprised. Tropicana is a household name when it comes to OJ, but this juice did not taste generic or mass-made. It had style. It was something very different. The bottle and design are a new look, reflecting the feel of a gourmet selection. I’ve often been disappointed by big names trying to seem like small, boutique brands, but this product truly delivers that quality. As a great addition, the crescent-shaped sides of the new bottle allow for easy grabbing to drink directly from the fridge (men rejoice). The ‘pure’ line is fresh (not from concentrate), but pasteurized to add longevity. The juice tastes fresh-squeezed and delivers 100 percent of your daily vitamin C; What more are you really asking for from a morning beverage? (Shh, coffee drinkers; take your morning fix elsewhere. Coffee is for dessert.)
We aren’t all health fanatics (myself included), but there are certain things that we can do to keep ourselves healthier. Add some pure juice to your routine to replace those morning sodas, sweet teas or energy drinks. You’ll find you feel better. Really.
Eric: The commodity FCOJ (Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice)…The first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about “orange juice” was the movie “Trading Places” where Billy Ray & Winthorpe’s cornered the FCOJ market. It is curious to me that my first thought was a movie reference, and not the usual childhood memories of the Frankenstein creation we members of the general public have disgracefully accepted as “juice.” Because of this potential “boycott,” many consumers are turning to the coffees, teas and cheaper, better tasting drink substitutes. I am one of these consumers. For years I have avoided all types of juice, and although I love the taste of freshly squeezed juice (particularly OJ), the average price of fresh juice is significantly higher than that of the frozen concentrates of this world.
For all of you realists out there, I don’t consider myself a lazy person. But most of the time I don’t have the desire at 7 a.m. to squeeze fresh juice (usually a much cheaper method) and end-up every once in awhile purchasing a 3-euro ($4.75) 16-oz bottle on my morning walk. I admit I was a skeptic and a bit of cynic when taking my first sip of Tropicana’s Pure Valencia (and the awe-inspiring, newly redesigned bottle didn’t affect my judgment). I wanted taste, and it’s exactly what I got…truthfully, I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I was tasting. After years of fearing bottled juices, I was actually enjoying a mass-produced one.