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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Made in Taiwan: Asparagus Juice Showdown

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge Quién es más macho? - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Quién es más macho?
We've been taken by a wave of stunt eating lately, and at a recent trip to Asian grocer extraordinaire 99 Ranch Market (250 Skyline Place at Skyline Blvd., Daly City), this unfortunate impulse was put to the test by a friend, who thrust a bottle of Spring & Coast asparagus juice into our hands. A quick scan of the shelves revealed several other "made in Taiwan" brands of the beverage, mostly touting green asparagus juice, like this bottle, but we also found a Red Bull-sized can of Ve Wong asparagus juice, which is decorated on the outside with cream-laden stalks of white asparagus. We snatched up both to compare later.

Unsure why anyone would want to drink such things here, a little Googling at home turned up many documents touting the efficacy of asparagus as a diuretic, cancer-fighting, protein-packed wonder vegetable. And while we can't dispute or support any of those claims, we do know whether something is drinkable or not.

We started with the green variety, admittedly because the ingredients list cane sugar and fructose, while the white only claims "sugar." We thought the second source of sweetening would help cover the veggie taste, which it definitely does ― until you keep drinking and detecting the flavor a little bit more each time. If you don't parse it out too much in your head, you can drink a decent amount of it.

The can, by comparison, led with a terrible whiff of asparagus that turned the stomach and watered the eyes, with a flavor that doesn't try to mask the main ingredient even a little bit. White asparagus is supposed to be milder than green and is more expensive, so we don't necessarily think that's what's in the can. We'd like to be a thorough researcher, but could not get past two sips of it, which might be its own clear answer in itself as to whether you should try it. Who enjoys this stuff?

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Tamara Palmer


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