California Orange Juice

I’m a fan of fresh OJ, but I’m lazy so I usually buy it at the grocery store. Over breakfast last week I noticed that I was drinking fresh OJ from Florida. It was a national brand, so nothing strange there. But I live in California and we have plentiful oranges here. So that started my quest for fresh California orange juice.

This has been more difficult than you might think. All the major brands use OJ or concentrate from Florida, Mexico or Brazil. Even Trader Joe’s chooses Florida. Where can I find fresh California OJ? I know, I know, I can go to a juice bar and get it fresh squeezed.

According to this article we eat our oranges instead of drinking them:

California oranges go mostly to the fresh market while about 90% of Florida’s oranges are processed for frozen orange juice concentrate.

But I want to know why there is no local brand of fresh California orange juice. Or is there, and I just don’t know about it. I want to support my local oranges.

* Photo by Randy Robertson via Flickr

7 thoughts on “California Orange Juice”

  1. There’s usually someone selling OJ at the farmer’s markets (squeezed on the spot, no less!), although it’s a bit pricey.

    Courtesy of my Mexican wife’s juice snobbishness we drink fresh-squeezed a fair amount, although it also tends to result in not drinking OJ at all courtesy of my own laziness.

  2. The reason why you (we) drink FL OJ has a lot to do with the type of orange grown in FL vs CA and more importantly the fact that most OJ is made from concentrate and that business is concentrated (pun intended) on the east coast. Frozen OJ is also traded on the NYMEX.

  3. I mainly has to do with appearance and yield. California oranges look better in the produce aisle, where as Florida orange rinds are uneven in color. Florida oranges yield more juce per pound than California oranges, so they are used for juice. Each orange was cultivated for a specific purpose to maximum their function in the orange spectrum.

  4. At the Santa Monica farmers markets, you can usually get a whole variety of local juice. A buncha farmers will offer them in larger milk-jug-sized containers, making it much less expensive than buying by the glass —

  5. Buy from my friends, please — Peter Schener from Valley Center in North San Diego County at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market sells OJ (even blood orange juice in season), lemon juice, and grapefruit juice.

    Peter’s cousins, the Stehly Family’s Sycamore Hill Ranch, grow in Fillmore in Ventura county and sell OJ at the Hollywood Market on Sunday. They also sell lemonade.

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