Growing up with Oranges

Yes, I grew up with California’s golden oranges. An orange grove was right across the street from the house where I lived for most of my youth in the 1950s.

That is why I know how sweet, fresh, juicy, ripe oranges should taste, and that is one reason I don’t care much for most of the orange juice we buy in stores. Fresh squeezed, at home, is much better but that takes time.  In fact, I seldom find tasty oranges sold in markets but I do find them in Farmer’s Markets during the orange season in California (December through April for Navel Oranges and April to December for Valencia Oranges).  When in season, I often buy ten pound bags of ripe, sweet, juicy Navel Oranges because my wife eats several a day.

Back to the 1950s when I was between the ages of 5 and 13: the man that tended that orange grove in Glendora, California was always dressed in khaki: pants, shirt and floppy, wide brimmed cotton hat. Because most of the kids in the neighborhood, including me, played in that unfenced commercial grove of naval orange trees, the khaki-clad orange grove man told us we could eat any orange we found on the ground but we were not allowed to pick them from the trees and eat them.

My child mind thought: okay, then I’ll knock oranges off the tree to the ground, pick them up and eat them, and I was never caught. Needless to say, in the 1950s, before that grove was cut down and replaced by a public elementary school at one end; some condos and a strip mall at the other end, I ate lots of oranges.

Now, here I am, about fifty to sixty years later, and I do not enjoy the taste of pasteurized orange juice. It just does not taste right, and there is a reason for that: the heat process kills not only bad bacteria but it destroys many of the vitamins and good microbes that benefit health.

Pasteurization typically uses temperatures below boiling. The two main types of pasteurization used today are: high-temperature, short-time (HTST) and “extended shelf life” (ESL) treatment.

Then yesterday at the local Whole Foods Market, I bought a half gallon of Orange Juice by Evolution Fresh. This morning, I drank some, and, WOW!, was transported back in time to that ten year old eating oranges from the trees across the street.

The taste I cannot get used to from pasteurized orange juice wasn’t there. I went online and discovered the reason this orange juice from Evolution tastes so good was because of a cold pasteurizing process called HHP (High Pressure Processed without the use of heat), and I learned from Evolution Fresh’s website that they have three stores of their own in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington and San Francisco, California.

If you are a connoisseur of orange juice, as I am, you may want to give this brand a try. Evolution Fresh Inc. was bought by Starbucks Coffee Company in late 2011.

Discover Barber Shop Quartets and Amazing Acappella or My Vegan Journey and why I never had a chance to say, “Let lips do what hands do.”


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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15 responses to “Growing up with Oranges”

  1. I am going to look for that brand! Thanks Lloyd!

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I’ve seen it in Starbucks and Wholefoods.

  2. Visiting from SundayBlogShare. Thanks for the tip. Whole Foods coming to our town soon.

    1. Starbucks bought the company that produces this orange juice and I’ve seen it for sale in Starbucks.

  3. […] What I don’t do on my blogs is write that much about me, my writing habits, or my books. This post is one of the exceptions. Instead, I focus on China, its history, its politics, its culture and its people. For the blog, The Soulful Veteran, that supports my thriller, I write mostly about war, combat, military issues, PTSD, etc. For my third book, a memoir, I write about teaching, public education, children and parenting at Crazy Normal.  Then there’s this blog, Lloyd, where I write on any topic that strikes my fancy. I’ve even written about Growing up with Oranges. […]

  4. Now I wanted an orange and they are out of season.

    1. Try the orange juice. I think it’s as close to the read thing a we are going to get.

  5. It must have been wonderful as a child to ave fresh picked oranges across the street.

    1. It was. A fond memory before freeways took over Southern California and turned it into a parking lot.

  6. Wow, I can imagine how great those oranges must have tasted.

  7. I know what a sweet orange picked fresh from the tree tastes like. And you’re right about that orange juice.

  8. […] Growing up with Oranges ( […]

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