Regarding orange juice

In spite of what some of you might think, I love my country. A country filled with orange and lemon trees. And yet, I ask you: why the hell orange juice is so bad in Greece?

The only kind of orange juice I could find is the water-down version with a half a kilo of added sugar in it, heavily concentrated. Fruit juice brands like “Amita” rule in Greece (Coca-Cola owns the brand), and yet, they have nothing in common with the quality we can get in UK, France or in USA for the same amount of money. It’s a bit of a mystery to me how a country that has so many fruit trees can’t get their recipes right.

Then again, it might just be a “used to” thing. You see, I am old enough to remember the first time fruit juices were actually available in the shops at my town in Epirus: mid-’80s. Before that time, if you wanted a fruit juice, you needed to pick the fruits from the tree and make it yourself. Given the financial capacity of most people at the time, it might have made business sense for companies like Amita to introduce these cheap, watered-down crap juices. Problem is, 25 years afterwards Greeks are used to these unhealthy juices and either would never consider a more expensive but real orange juice (with pulp in it and all), or they are not even aware of them (e.g. my mother never had a good glass of bottled orange juice).

Now, I am not saying that there aren’t any “real” orange juices out there, but I haven’t found any at the shops I looked at for (ranging from the local shops, to “Lidl”, to “Marinopoulos”). I must also mention the orange juice we had at our hotel in Athens during our 2-day stay there: an even worse, more watered-down, smelly even, version. JBQ noted during our breakfast there: “this is disgusting”.

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