Real Food for Real Life

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's here, it's here, my Jarritos is here...

11 flavors, a t-shirt and a CD

Nearly two weeks ago I received  a random email from a marketing firm in LA asking if I would be interested in sampling all eleven flavors of Jarritos soda, and then sharing my thoughts about the product with you, my wonderful readers.    I first tried Jarritos during a trip to Mexico in 2007, and of the few flavors I have tried, my favorite has been the Piña (pineapple).  I don't know how my little blog was selected, but I find it all to just be kinda cool (I'm a newbie to this, can you tell?).  I replied (obviously) that I would be very happy to do this, and after some cheerful coorespondence with the marketing rep, the wait was on.  The much anticipated package arrived Friday afternoon, and not only did I get the soda sampler, but also a t-shirt (can't have too many of those) and a Latin music CD (or those either).  Before I ramble on any further, let me tell you a little about Jarritos, for those of you who may not be familiar...

What are Jarritos...

Jarritos, is a Mexican soda brand started in 1950 by Don Francisco "El Güero" Hill.  Jarritos is made in fruit flavors and with less carbonation than soft drinks made in the US, although the biggest difference lies in the use of real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup, in its production (one of those things our family is trying to limit).   The word jarrito means "j little jars," in Spanish and refers to the Mexican tradition of drinking water and other drinks in clay pottery jugs.

 Today, Jarritos is the leading brand in the US in the Mexican soft drink category and has become a Mexican cultural icon. Whether it is the distinctive glass bottle, or the eleven unique fruit flavors, Jarritos has become fairly well known in the US, and can be found in many major grocery stores. Jarritos flavors are a reflection of Mexico in its array of traditional Mexican flavors, including: mandarin orange, lime, hibiscus, mango, strawberry, lemon-lime, pineapple, tamarind, guava and grapefruit.
Traditionally, water and other drinks were kept in clay pottery jugs called jarritos to keep them cool and fresh. Today, Jarritos bottles reflect this heritage with their unique shape.  Jarritos flavors are based on Mexican regional traditions in food. Grapefruit, for example, is made from fresh grapefruit from the state of Veracruz.   Jamaica (hibiscus) uses extracts from jamaica flowers originating in Guerrero and Oaxaca. The region of Colima provides lemons for a lemon flavor, and the same with pineapple from Tabasco. Today, these popular flavors still come from these regions where each year growers compete to provide Jarritos with the best fruit. 

The challenge...

The easy part of this challenge is to just actually taste each of the flavors and share my opinions with you.  This part of the challenge will also include the opinions of Christopher, my little guy, who has made me promise that he can be part of this.  The bigger challenge will be in how to use these sodas beyond simply tasting...as a mixer for adult beverages is a given, but can I cook with them as well?  I guess you will just have to keep reading to find out...

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