|Now that's OJ!|
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Orange juice comes in a carton back home. Not so in Portugal, where orange juice comes inside nice round fresh oranges.
On Day one in Portugal we picked up some groceries, and out of habit got a bottle of OJ for breakfast at the store. Uck, it wasn't orange juice, it was some sort of 'Tang' stuff. We did find some better tasting stuff later on, but it was only a while before we discovered that the reason there is no orange juice in the stores is because you can buy the oranges themselves and make your own juice. We knew the oranges at the market were good, because we had bought a few to eat, picking out the good ones from the various vendors at the market. Then Colin mentioned that he bought oranges in bulk at the market to squeeze for juice. He suggested not worrying about which ones looked the best, because even the little ones with blemishes made delicious juice. We discovered you could buy 5 kilos of oranges for 2 Euro.
The oranges here are not like Florida oranges which have been developed with a thick skin so they can be shipped North to us cold “Freezing in the dark” Canadians, without bruising. The oranges here have almost no skin, and the juice oranges have almost no pulp. When you squeeze them on the juicer, you have to be careful or you tear the skin, and when you are done, you have just the skin left – all juice.
I have become the Juice man. I squeezed the first batch, and it became my task every day to make sure juice was squeezed for our breakfast. Some days I'd get up early and make REALLY fresh squeezed juice. This was the way I preferred it; fresh and room temperature, but some members of the party commented that they liked their juice chilled. I started either processing the oranges in the evening and putting a pitcher of juice in the fridge for morning, or I would put five oranges in the fridge and squeeze cold oranges for fresh juice in the morning.
Just when we thought we had the old OJ thing all cased, we got the car and drove down the coast. Using my new Bionic peripheral vision I spotted Oranges on the side of the road. Spaced out along a section of the road were tiny little stands selling bags of oranges. Here we could get the nice big oranges for the same price as the little ones, and they were even better for juice. You got a big glass of juice from each orange you squeezed.
Oh, the best thing, as the official “Orange Juicer”, I got to get the biggest glass of juice every morning.