“There’s nothing simple about juice whatsoever.”
– Richard Purnell, poet and moralist, 2013
Call this a commissioned piece. My Edinburgh show partner-in-crime has tasked me with doing what he claims to be the impossible: writing a coherent analysis of the nuances present in the contemporary fruit juice industry. Let it not be stated that I am afraid of such a challenge. But I will require sub-headings, as follows:
- TUNA CHUNKS
Princes make juices which generally hit the range run-of-the-mill – absolute utter gash. They also make tinned fish. In fact, they list fruit juices fifth in their product range, behind even sandwich pastes. Their presence in the juice market could only be described as ‘murky’; largely for fear that the word ‘fishy’ would be too obvious an insert at this juncture.
You’d have thought the art of the juicer would be one taken very seriously indeed. Alas, producing juice seems to be an afterthought for many firms; an easy way to exploit a public gagging for hydration and vitamins using disarmingly vague branding terminology. Which brings us on to…
This is really the key issue of this piece, but wouldn’t have made as good a first heading as the tuna one.
If producers of juices that are not from concentrate could print an expletive between ‘from’ and ‘concentrate’ I, for one, believe they would. Condensed, squeezed, frozen fruit shipped across the globe, possibly by middlemen in heavy suits even on really hot days, topped up with water, is clearly a very bad thing to be.
Concentrate is a word so loaded with insinuation that even Wikipedia is cagey, opting not even to provide a definition in its article entitled ‘Juice’:
“In the United Kingdom the name or names of the fruit followed by juice can only legally be used to describe a product which is 100% fruit juice, as required by the Fruit Juices and Fruit Nectars (England) Regulations and the Fruit Juices & Fruit Nectars (Scotland) Regulations 2003.However, a juice made by reconstituting concentrate can be called juice. A product described as fruit “nectar” must contain at least 25% to 50% juice, depending on the fruit. A juice or nectar including concentrate must state that it does. The term “juice drink” is not defined in the Regulations and can be used to describe any drink which includes juice, however little.”
3. JUST JUICE
It’s not. It’s really, really not. See point 2.
4. “50% MORE JUICE”
How can a juice be more juicy than it once was? The carton has not gotten any bigger. Why get so goddam existential on us at the juices fridge? See point 2.
The juice purist knows that the only way to know you are definitely drinking juice is to juice them damn fruits with your bare hands (or a juicer) then drink that juiced juice before you’ve let it out of your sight for even a matter of seconds. But you do wonder; will those bare hands soon be cold dead hands if the makers of cartons find out about your libertarian activities?
It’s abundantly clear that juice is being run by some kind of Mafia. A highly slippery bunch, they should be thoroughly investigated by either Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah, or Donal McIntyre if budgets are tight.
Only then will it be possible to give all juice, ever, a satisfactorily objective rating at the bottom of a blog piece.