Intolerants Weekend Redux: Cairo Juicing 101

Intolerants Weekend Redux: Cairo Juicing 101

As I do most Fridays, I popped into Ganet Fawakeh (“Juice Guy”) to get my weekly quota of juice and was thrilled to arrive during a quiet lull in the afternoon. The old gentleman with the cane wasn’t around – perhaps he was, rightly, taking his day of rest – but one of his younger family members was there; a technologically savvy man who urged me to get the pomegranate juice because it was “very, very good,” and to at least purchase three large bottles because it’s better value for money.

There are capitalists everywhere.

I turned down the offer for the pomegranate to settle on guava and greedily asked for two large bottles of grapefruit juice since they are apparently back in season. That’s the real reason why I was drawn into the shop in the first place as I spotted, what looked like, large greenish oranges. Once I figured out they were grapefruits…well…it was a done deal.

There was a bit of a wait since there weren’t any pre-made bottles of grapefruit juice ready. This was fine as I had never seen juice being made before so this allowed me to observe the process of how they go about making certain juices. For the members of the citrus family it winds up being a very rudimentary and simplistic process in fact: cut open the grapefruit, squeeze it on a huge antiquated press, add a bit of water and pour it into empty bottles.

It might be from the 50’s, but this press still does the job just fine.

It took awhile to get 3 liters worth of juice, but it was fabulous to watch this man use the old school press. He worked hard for that juice quietly going through the motions of pulling the lever down, squashing the fruit to squeeze as much grapefruity goodness out of each half, pull up the lever, remove the now-barren peel and repeat. As he worked I asked about where they get their fruit (locally sourced), if they ever put milk in the guava (not unless asked – an Intolerant bonus), and the sugar content of their beverages (they prefer not to add sugar unless requested since a lot of the time it’s unnecessary…the fruit is sweet enough).

For the love of  juice. And grapefruits are back! (YES!!)

Ten minutes later I had my three bottles for the week and was on my way. As I sit typing this now a small glass of juice rests to my right and from time to time I take a swig to enjoy the refreshing, astringent and rightly bitter taste of grapefruit.

Natural, fresh and oh, so good.