For the A TO Z CHALLENGE, I’m blogging for 26 days in April (except Sundays) based on the alphabet, and my theme is #foodiefiction, inspired mostly by the foods of Singapore.
J is for Juice
Young people these days, they say my juice is not healthy. I say, how can??? My juice is made with fresh fruits. I don’t add sugar or anything. I have so many kinds of fresh fruits. Got red and green apples, oranges, pineapples, watermelon, even got carrots.
But these days that’s not enough, you know.
These young people they ask, got celery? Got kale?
Kale? What’s kale? They tell me it’s a dark leafy vegetable. They want me to juice leaves? Is that what young people drink nowadays? Juice made from leaves?
And beetroots! I only know got canned type. Can juice ah?
Last week someone asked me if my juice is cold-pressed. I said my juice is cold because my fruits are in the fridge. Then can add ice if they want to make it colder. The boy just looked at me like I’m crazy and walked away.
Another time this woman asked if my fruits were organic. I nodded and then she asked if she could see the box that my apples came in and I said I threw those away already and she decided not to buy my apple juice.
One fellow asked if I can do orange, carrot and papaya juice. Luckily I got all those fruits and made him a juice. Of course I charged him more because special order mah. Finally, one satisfied customer.
Then the next day he comes back and asks for lychee, pineapple and papaya juice. I said I only got canned lychee. He said no problem.
I saved some to try, and I say, this guy knows what he is talking about. The lychee, pineapple and papaya juice is damn good. So I wanted to see the next day what he ordered.
He did come back. This time he said he just wanted carrot juice. But I thought that was now too boring. I wanted to try something new. I had even bought some ginger at the market, so I added some ginger and apple to his carrot juice. And when he tried it his face brightened. He told me, uncle, this was exactly what I wanted. The ginger makes a big difference.
The next day he came back again. He said, Uncle, can I have the same as yesterday, the carrot-apple-ginger combination? That was good. It cleared my nose!
So I made him a lemon-carrot-apple juice. With extra ginger.
He took a sip and his eyes began to water. After another sip he began to splutter and cough. He drank some more, his eyes watery and his nose starting to leak. I told him, eh, don’t drink finish if it’s too spicy! But he still kept drinking and he drank it all.
His face was red and he was sweating a bit. He took out some tissue paper, wiped his sweat, blew his nose and cleared his throat.
“Uncle, your drink is too powerful. It’s bitter, it’s sweet, it’s spicy. It is just too shiok. It’s great ‘cause it cleared my nose, but er I think it’s also clearing up my digestive system. Er, can you tell me where’s the nearest toilet?”
He helped me name that juice ‘The Great Detox’, and now it is up on the board along with Morning Madness (orange-lemon-lime juice), Berry Delicious (strawberry-blueberry), Power to the Kale (kale, orange juice, bananas) and some other ones. Yah, got kale. That kid, who’s now dreaming up a chain of our fancy juice stalls in food courts, has made me try kale. I don’t like it, but all those office workers who line up for my juices do. That’s ok by me.
Juice is in no way a uniquely Singaporean thing. But I love that you can easily find juice everywhere in Singapore. Nearly every hawker centre and food court will have a stall selling fruit juices and fresh fruit. It’s a less common thing here in suburban Northern California where I live so we recently bought a juicer.