Monday, December 22, 2008

Lawson VL 24 Vegetable and Fruit Juice Blend

There is a particular variety of jam that I love in apricot flavor. On at least 5 occasions, I have accidentally purchased orange marmalade in the same brand because the illustrations are nearly identical and I was in a hurry and didn't read the label. Today's review is brought to you by the same type of rushed carelessness that has seen me waste about $20 over the years on marmalade (which I hate).

I was at a local shop and hustling to get some milk when I decided I'd like some juice. I'd bought a Lawson VL (Value Line) citrus blend from this same shop before so I grabbed the carton you see above large based on the prominence of the orange, lemon and grapes. I got home and only when my sunny yellow juice ended up being fluorescent orange did I realize something had gone horribly wrong. Still, I wasn't going to let good juice go to waste because I made a stupid mistake, even if it did look a little radioactive.

The 24 fruits and vegetables pictured on the carton.

The juice blends grape, orange, and lemon with a plethora of vegetables in an attempt to add more nutritional punch to the mix. The primary ingredients are the first three juices, but there's also 2 types of carrot, sweet potato, asparagus, 2 types of green pepper, 2 kinds of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, lettuce, kale, parsley, celery, and radish. There are a few more in there, but you get the idea. The Japanese love drinks and juices which offer tons of healthy ingredients. I guess it's the "kitchen sink" approach to beverage blending and consumers lap it up. I'm not sure if this sort of approach ends up in a tasty beverage, but I guess it is supposed to be about carrying a big nutritional punch. My previous experience with a blended beverage was not one which I recollect with fondness, so I approached with caution.

The juice doesn't have a very strong scent. Mainly, you smell the orange component with a hint of lemon. The juice itself tastes a lot like a muted version of orange juice. It has a citrus feel, but is clearly diluted with something unexpected. While there isn't really an aftertaste, there is definitely a secondary hint of something vegetable-based. I swear I can detect the green pepper taste in it, but none of the other vegetables make an individual taste impact. I think this is certainly palatable, but I wouldn't go so far to say it is as enjoyable as a pure citrus blend or even straight ahead orange juice.

The carton has 700 ml, which is probably enough for 3 reasonably-sized servings, 2 big ones, or 4 small ones. The juice has added alpha and beta carotene and is 36 calories for 100 ml so it's not too high in calories, though certainly not low. If you'd like to drink something which may carry more nutrients per sip, this would be just fine. You're taking a cut in pleasure, but it's still a pleasant beverage and it may be worth it for the healthier mix of juices.

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