Have you ever wondered about the difference between Florida oranges and the ones from California? The quick answer is that Florida’s climate produces oranges with a thinner peel but a sweeter juice while California’s weather is responsible for thicker peels that give us better “table” oranges. So here in Florida, we take our orange juice pretty seriously. Here are the four orange juices that we crave.
Tropicana is a name that Florida knows well. The company was founded in Bradenton where an Italian immigrant named Anthony Rossi would perfect the process of flash pasteurization, which helps to preserve the juice’s taste. Decades later, Tropicana would become a familiar name around the country, thanks to its 100 percent juice content and full day’s allowance of vitamin C. (If you’re a baseball fan, the Tampa Bay Rays make their home in Tropicana Field, which lights up its rooftop in an orange hue after each Rays’ victory.)
No added sugar
Isn’t Ocean Spray the cranberry juice expert? Sure, but they put out a pretty good orange juice as well. Their OJ juice boxes are 100 percent juice with no added sugars, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. Founded in 1930, the company itself is an agricultural cooperative, with member growers in a slew of states including Florida, where they harvest both oranges and grapefruits.
Worth the concentration
Ever wonder about the name Minute Maid? It turns out the company started out as the Florida Foods Corp. with a government contract to make powdered orange juice during World War II. The war would end before they got to work, so their attention turned to frozen orange juice concentrate, promising consumers they could make “orange juice in a minute” with their product. Decades later, in the 1970s, Minute Maid added fresh juice to their offerings, so we can now enjoy their juice at home or on the go.
Ideal for smoothies
Orange juice tastes great just as it is, but add in a healthy pour of pineapple juice and see what happens. Dole’s pineapple business dates all the way to 1901 in Hawaii, where plantations still dot the islands. The drink combo still features no added sugar, plenty of vitamin C and – bonus – makes for a great mixer for drinks and smoothies.
Steve Spears is editor of Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. He is based in Orlando and counts St. Augustine, Key West and the Gulf Beaches among his favorite destinations in the state.