Friday, December 11, 2009

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

This one's a no-brainer - get yourself some oranges, a juicer and squeeze away. Or if you're without a juicer, scroll down for directions on doing it by hand. Here are some facts about oranges in Taipei as I find out...

Oranges in winter are super cheap in Taipei. They're everywhere and then disappear suddenly -- much like the seasons for mangoes and strawberries. So get them while you can. And 8-13 jin (9-14 lb) gets heavy in plastic bags so bring a backpack with you when you go.

2009 Season
12/5/09 spotted oranges on sale at the fruit market around the corner from the xiaonanmen/ximen Carrefour for 1 jin = 12 nt. That's 8 1/3 jin for 100 nt. Pretty good! We bought 50 nt worth. I squeezed it the next day to fill a 1.5 liter bottle and a full mug.

12/8/09 spotted orange trucks at Fuxing-Heping intersection and on the SE side of Daan park while on the bus. Both had signs for 13 jin = 100 nt.

12/11/09 found the Fuxing-Heping truck. 13 jin = 100 nt or 6 jin for 50 nt on one side of the truck. These oranges were all a little dark in color - spotted...what most would consider a little ugly. Seemed on average a little smaller than the other side, though they came in all sizes (tiny to huge). On the other half were 8 jin for 100 nt of oranges that were purely orange. Better looking over all. I asked him the difference (besides looks) and he said the tastes were about the same. I think the keyword is about. Had I brought a backpack I would have bought both kinds to do a side-by-side taste test. As it was, I didn't, so I just bought the cheaper ones. 13.2 jin for 100 nt. He said he's there on certain days (I forget now...but definitely Fridays) and at 7:30 pm he's at the Daan location on other days. Squeezed about 6 jin right away to make 1.7 liters of juice. It wasn't as sweet as the 12/5 batch but still tasty. Who's complaining at this price? On the way, I passed another truck selling pears, tomatoes and oranges - but these were a different variety - 1 jin for 30 nt. They were on Heping heading east, just before the Fuxing intersection. On the way back, on the south side of Heping at Long Quan St there was a truck selling 8 jin for 100 nt.

Oranges at the market range in price depending on the type of orange, the size, and the quality. I recently got some juicing oranges, which were very small and very dark - so dark that squeezing them stained my nails. I no longer have an electric juicer so I was forced to squeeze the old-fashioned way - by hand!

Hand Squeezed Orange Juice
  1. Squeeze each orange tightly.
  2. Rinse thoroughly.
  3. Cut in half. Remove seeds.
  4. Optional: Slice along the edge separating the fruit from the peel (about a half inch deep).
  5. Squeeze orange half over large bowl. Keep rotating and squeezing orange until there's no more juice.
  6. Transfer from bowl into juice container and refrigerate.
  • This method leaves a lot of pulp and some whole bits of orange.
  • I recommend wearing an apron so as not to spray your clothes.

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