Citrus sinensis has been cultivated for thousands upon thousands of years. The trees are ever green. They are everywhere. Stacks upon stacks of them. Truckloads. There’s so many that even a telecommunications company thought it would cash in when the time was ripe. Their rinds radiate fervent neroli (infuse with jasmine or visit The Body Shop, die and go to heaven instantly as the scent is simply stunning). I am zealously jaded for my addiction. Not clementines. Not tangerines. Not satsumas. Not mandarins. Oranges. Oranges, oranges, oranges. “Venir a mí, mi pequeño y precioso naranja, mi querida Valencia!” Pray, let me intro-juice you!
Non-pasteurised freshly squeezed orange juice, with-bits-in (scientific terminology is bafflingly bewildering), is about the most heavenly ‘naturally-occurring’ drink I can think up only second to Birmingham’s tap water stolen from beyond the Welsh mountains. I hold this feat with the highest regard, it is quite wonderous that Brummies do not claim this proud daylight robbery with their heads held high, the glory needs to be properly apportioned. It is an achievement of greatest esteem: to pilfer Welsh water from under the very Welsh nose is quite a miraculous miracle – nothing Welsh leaves Wales, apart from swimmed-out seashells that children illegally snap up from the sandy shorelines of childhood family seaside outings (and then quickly throw across the bedroom back in the City realising there was something dark brown, glossy and jelly-esque squelching inside and it had been in my pocket all that time <shudders>).
My most favourite and biased revered juice is bursting with billions of Vitamin C sacs, AND it doubly aids digestion (gets rid of the bloating ladies). It’s an even better source of calcium than milk and contains about 2/3 of the daily vitamin C requirement. Now if I am to believe my sources (and they range far and wide), I am to understand that oranges are not an extinct fruit, it is not a rare mountain apple that Eve wishes to procure from her bosom buddy Lucifer in order to poison Adam and inject negligent reality into the most perfect Eden. So pray tell me, what is this g-l-o-o-p that is manufactured by orangeries and then consumed by the unbeknowing populous?
The preservatives that rot in a cardboard carton of concentrated orange juice that every man and his dog cares to sell from each British street corner to the mass-sheep shopping of supermarkets, are hideous. Sipping concentrated orange juice is like sipping tepid Fairy Liquid, the orange has been through an enormous amount in its short life only for its prodigious pulpiness to be extracted in the filtering process. The poor little orange, it has been maimed, the very essence of its identity has been stripped from its orange soul. The Fresh Orange is plucked from its home for two reasons: to be eaten, or be squeezed. It was not born to be diluted with water.
I liken The Fresh Orange to a Class A drug which I must illegally try and obtain in its purest form to gauge the exponential experience it provides; it is as elusive as the Holy Grail. I may procure my precious pulp from the trinity of le high-end supermarchés: Waitose; M&S; Tesco (Finest) – only M+S is in near vicinity to my dwelling (Tesco Finest juice has been tried and tested and I think it’s an impostor). Rest assured you will be hard pressed to find non-pasteurised freshly squeezed orange juice from anywhere else in the UK (unless of course the process is undertaken at home). In fact, it is nigh on highly impossible: in the name of consumerism, manufacturers and orange-eaterers-and-drinkerers have jumped on the bandwagon and all orange juice is now pasteurised – do not be fooled by the label ‘gently pasteurised’ – this is a myth, it is still gloop-fairy-liquid-type. The Fresh Orange does not risk its poor little life from the due attention and nurturing care of Mother Tree in search of adventure, to be lambasted with heat until tyrannical dehydration. I stand against the peremptoriness of pasteurisation.
Flatmate evented a fatal error, her eyes must have accidentally been turned to the ‘off’ position. During my sickness over the cold snow snap recently when every body this side of England was reincarnated after dicing with bird of flu death, I was unable to eat for days. My stomach had shrivelled to the size of an angry amoeba which is excellently advantageous as it provided the flattest tummy imaginable, “I can see my abs woo!” I called to myself, in my head, like a loon. It’s the sickness – thinking like a feathery frump of fowl has a tendency to send me slightly senile. I continued with my crazy bird-personified tweet-twooing (a cross between a parakeet and an owl) and I thought “I know, my beloved oranges will do me the wOrLd of good”. Utilising the friendly Book of Face, I kindly requested a bag of oranges from Flatmate advising it may be the antidote to the poisonous venom phlegm filling my lungs attempting to suffocate the very breath from my aching body. I anticipated Flatmate’s return home from work all the live-long day as a gamer awaits the release of C.O.D. [I like to decipher it as Compulsive Obsessive Disorder]. I was wedded to a dormant day of lethargy until my Floral-themed Nightingale could perform her saviour duties.
To prevent the inevitable fit of hysteria which was about to befall me, I coerced REM to visit me earlier than usual. In my calm comatose serenity, I could see myself slicing open the sweetest, juiciest orange with the cleanest, sharpest, shiniest knife. In my hallucinative-fluenza-like-state, I could practically breathe in the very scent of popping flesh as the microscopic liquid globules exploded against my tastebuds. This continued for a short time like a scene from Max Headroom, I think cabin fever was setting in at this point but it was palatable, “I’m dreaming about oranges mmmm…”
I was still in my hazy-dazy slumber sleeping off my pain relief concoction: paracetamol cut with Night Nurse capsules (they removed the edge from the satanic torture of illness). I was clueless as to the time Flatmate Flora decided to put in an appearance, I woke from dreaming and it was that deathly time of night. My eyes alert, filtered the darkness of my death pit and relentless migraine thud-ache. I sat up, attempting to recall who I was, and where. Suddenly, like a lightbulb idea *ding!* the thought “~oranges!~” struck my heart with such happiness I was warmed to the core of my soul for Flatmate Flora’s favourous nature.
I wrecklessly zombied from my bedroom to the kitchen through the reception area, using the walls for support as the laminate was rather like an ice-rink with my wibbling-jellied legs and the atmosphere was all whoozy and queezy with my blocked nose and ears, my cochlea was most definitely and defiantly disturbed. My brain disbanded the signals to my limbs but somehow, and without memory, I eventually arrived into the kitchen. There, before me, in the fruitbowl, sat a thousand oranges in green netting, calling to me as if they were Aztec gold coins calling to Captain Barbossa, tempting me to sink my teeth into their skin like Bella’s sparkling boyfriend on his day-off. But wait, I moved (slowly) closer to the fraudulent fruitbowl and examined the fruit before my bleary eyes, “Alas! This is not an orange!! It’s a fricking clementine!” In my horror, I observed as the non-punnet of clementines clambered over the edge of the bowl and commenced a full-scale attack to the floor. I despise clementines. “Ugh!”
I dissipated into a pool of liquid human on to the ceramic tiles, oozing disappointment, seething contempt. To my credit of sickness, I tried to eat the disgusting fruit. The entire surface of the delicate clementine ‘smile’ was covered with dried goat fat, and I forced it through my poorly oesophagus. My insides were not entirely happy with me and I had to throw the remainder of the cut fruit into the garbage whilst Flatmate Flora was ballin’ in her boudoir. The next morning, I had to pretend-gush my “Thank-you” in case I appeared ungrateful and feigned gratitude for the honour Flatmate Flora bestowed upon me by purchasing a bowl of mini Limited Edition Ford-Focuses. I may as well have just remained laying in my death pit, supping on goose-down for mains and bed-mites for pudding.
Join my Citrus Cavalry for the crushing of pasteurisation and all fake-orangery everywhere!