Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fine Dining Fusion

We do not have traditional meals in our family, at least no longer. My wife eats fish and chicken, but if she eats fish and chicken, that's all she eats -- a broiled or braised skinless chicken breast or fish fillet. I don't eat meat.

Neither of us like commercial food -- that is, pre-packaged meals. Too loaded with salt and refined sugar, those things. In fact, we rarely salt anything, and if we do, we use kosher salt, which seems to have a sweeter, less acrid taste. And we avoid sugar altogether.

Oh, all right. She allows herself one bear-claw pastry a week, and I either have five ginger snaps or a piece of Hershey's dark chocolate in the evening. We are not absolutists.

But over the decades we've orbited one another, we've often remarked about the boredom of eating. "I wish there was a pill I could take every day and get all my nutrients," she has told me more than once. And I agree.

Lately though, we have stumbled up on what are being marketed as "fusion juices" -- fruit and vegetable juices combined. We buy the "light" (apparently meaning no high-fructose corn syrup added to appeal to the national sweet tooth) version. It has a relatively simple menu of ingredients:
  • sweet potatoes
  • purple carrots
  • carrots
  • apples
  • white grapes
  • acai berries
  • blueberries
  • lime
  • lemon

That's the good stuff, concentrate, of course, with water added. There are other versions with pomegranate, strawberries, and bananas in various combinations. We prefer the house brands over the nationally-advertised versions named after a type of car engine.

The other (I won't say bad) stuff makes for a shorter list:
  • natural flavors
  • malic acid
  • ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E) 
Eight ounces supposedly has fifty calories, which means I get about 200 calories a day out of one-and-a-half meals made up of the fusion juices.

After thinking about it, I told my wife, "Hey, remember our dream of a pill to substitute for food? We could use fusion juices."

"No proteins," she replied. "We need protein."

I suppose I could go to a health food store and get a body-builder protein drink, but I think I'll wait for the pill and continue to enjoy beans and legumes, yogurt and nuts, and the incredible, edible egg.

I had to look up "malic acid." Google points to Wikipedia with ...

  • * Malic acid is an organic compound with the formula HO2CCH2CHOHCO2H. This dicarboxylic acid is the active ingredient in many sour or tart foods. Malic acid is found mostly in unripe fruits. 
  • * The acids in wine are an important component in both winemaking and the finished product of wine. They are present in both grapes and wine, having direct influences on the color, balance and taste of the wine as well as the growth and vitality of yeasts during fermentation and protecting the ... 
  • * A colourless crystalline dicarboxylic acid, hydroxy-malonic acid, found in wine, apples and other fruit; it is converted to lactic acid by malo-lactic fermentation

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