Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nature's Nectar Calcium & Vitamin D No Pulp 100% Orange Juice (Aldi)


Tastes a little weak to me, but pretty darn good for the price.
Orange juice is tasty and healthy, so I like having it on hand more often than not. I used to get the kind in the cheap plastic carton, which I believe was “from concentrate” (meaning water is added to it), because it was quite a bit cheaper. Well now the prices have gotten so close that it seems pointless to pay for what amounts to “diluted” orange juice—now I just buy the OJ in the carafes. It’s “never from concentrate”, meaning that it is just straight up orange juice, with zero added ingredients; I’m not so health-conscience that I’m above “from concentrate” juices, but if the uncut stuff is just ten cents more, it seems like a no-brainer to me.

As you can infer just from reading the label, this does have the added ingredients of tricalcium phosphate, calcium lactate, and Vitamin D3. I’m not sure what any of them do specifically (besides add Vitamin D and Calcium, of course), but more vitamins seem like a good thing. The only reason I get this kind, and not regular, is because, as far as I can tell, Aldi only offers the carafed orange juice in two varieties: this one, and high-pulp. That strikes me as odd that they wouldn't have a "regular" pulp-free version, but it's not really that big of a deal, so I settle for this one.

I can’t seem to shake the feeling that the flavor here is watered down a bit...it just doesn’t taste like straight up orange juice to me. I’m not sure if the acidity level is somehow cut down with the addition of the vitamins, or if their mere inclusion alters the flavor, but something just doesn’t taste 100% right here. It starts orange-y, but then the taste kind of fades away quick…it’s like if you poured orange juice into a glass of ice, put it out in the hot sun for an hour, and then started drinking it.

That being said, it must not bother me all that much because I still get this one fairly frequently (probably once every month or two). Despite my complaints, it does still taste like orange juice (as in the orange is front and center, at least for a couple seconds), and the now $1.89 price tag is more than a dollar less what you would expect to pay for the name brand. The watered-down taste also kind of helps to make it more drinkable and refreshing...some OJ's I've had (especially cheaper ones) taste and feel so acidic that you almost have to sip them—in fact, I've gotten acid reflux symptoms a few times from drinking particularly “strong” orange juices. At the very least, you can chug this on a hot summer day for some quick refreshment; the "watered-down" consistency also can help make this a good mixer for all you alcoholics out there.

It's a good orange juice, and the inclusion of vitamins is kind of nice, I guess, but I do kinda wish they would offer this in a no-pulp version without the added supplements. 

Overall: 7/10. It's a good, cheap orange juice that, perhaps best of all, is “not from concentrate” (meaning it's not cut with water...what's inside is 100% orange juice) but still somehow has a very watered-down flavor. It starts off tasting like you would expect it to, with the taste of fresh orange front-and-center, but then just like that, the orange flavor just kind of disappears. On the one hand that's kind of nice, because it makes it seem less acidic, and therefore more guzzlable than most orange juices, but on the other hand, it's kind of baffling for an orange juice without added water to taste like water has been added. I still get it more than I should, though, because the only other option in these carafes is a “high-pulp” version, and I do not like pulp in my orange juice at all. Hopefully one day Aldi will add a no-pulp variety without the added vitamins, which seems like something they should clearly already be doing, but I guess their marketing data tells them otherwise. And regardless of my bitching, the point still remains: This is a good orange juice, especially for its paltry $1.89 price tag.

3 comments:

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