Kate Ryan, Flavour.ie
It’s not only juice that’s juicy you know! For me, it’s an invitation to something incredibly appealing and tantilising. Juice carries mouthfeel in food, enhancing texture and flavour. Juicy food is moreish, succulent, delicious and seriously craveable, too. We can see juice: the spritz of citrus or the melting texture of meat. We physically react to it: our tastebuds respond acutely to tartness, bitterness, sweetness, savouriness – all delivered by juiciness! So, let’s celebrate juicy food in all its many wonderful ways…
My favourite fruit of all is cherry. Give me sour cherries, black cherries, candied and dried cherries – I don’t mind! I love them for their versatility. Great in savoury foods, like classic duck and cherry sauce, or baked into pies, cakes and tarts. Last year, I made cherry brandy bitters at home; they often find their way into homemade cocktails with a whiskey or brandy base. Their sweet, slightly tart juice makes for great drinks too, and this post by @vanillaandbean for a Honey-Sweetened Cherry Limeade immediately caught my eye! Simple to make, delivering a bit hit of flavour – the rich cherry juicy base is sure to get the taste buds tingling with delight!
- Red Flesh Apples
Boutique cidery, Killahora Orchards, recently posted a baby red fleshed apple that, coincidentally, look like cherries when young with their deep burgundy red skin with a fuchsia-hued pinkish flesh that carries a distinct red-fruit flavour when pressed. When fully grown and ready for pressing, @killahora hope to create a new rosey cider from them. If it’s anything like their other premium ciders and apple-based wines, we should probably get clambering for a first sip as soon as possible!
Glistening, inviting, totally delectable; few things are as well anticipated as a freshly shucked oyster! The succulent muscle sits in a dash of salty water – pure oyster juice; but did you know that depending on where the oysters are farmed, they will have a completely different flavour. Last year, I visited DK Oysters in Connemara who oysters have a flavour profile of cucumber and crisp green apple. It’s worth bearing in mind before lashing on the tabasco – the right garnish can make or break your oyster eating experience. These oysters, recently enjoyed by @foodcornish in Melbourne, Australia, have been paired with umami boosting brown rice miso and yuzu and look incredible!
Light, gentle, yet packing perfectly punchy flavours – that’s what ceviche is to me, unleashing the juicy textures of super fresh fish! Some fish just work better cured/cooked in this way, and scallops for sure is one of them. This artful plate of scallop ceviche by @hoppy_chef in Poland is a masterclass in flavour balancing. The acidic cure of the ceviche sweet scallop is paired with bitter grapefruit and kumquat, hot jalapeno, baby oyster leaf and cornflower with smoked almonds for a little bit of texture. If it tastes as good as it looks and sounds, this is a winner dish!
It’s the holy grail of BBQ enthusiasts everywhere taking years to perfect. Getting that lump of brisket to transform into a yielding, soft, unctuous meaty morsel with free-flowing juices released from the fat seam is the kind of thing Instagram was made for! It starts with a good relationship with your butcher to get the best piece of meat you can lay your greasy mitts on. The rub is all important, as is managing your fire and smoke to get the perfect break down point, bark and smoke ring. It finishes with the cut through and squeeze to show everyone that you have – finally – reached the Everest-sized peak of BBQ perfection. Nom. I’d do anything for a taste of this brisket from @slapyamama Cajun food specialists!
- Juicy, Blistered Sweetcorn
To go along with your epic brisket, you might want to have a side that can match up to its mouth-wateringly juicy counterpart! I love sweetcorn – in all the many ways it can be cooked, but I particularly love it cooked on the BBQ. Tough kernels morph into soft, brightly yellow jewels bursting with sweet juice. Take @a28.photography’s advice and increase the juicy quotient ten-fold by drenching your burnished corn cobs with coconut butter and mint for a tropical tinge to your cob!
- Juicy Beers
Golden, slightly hazy, and bright with tropical hops; beer might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to juicy things, but the new breed of Juicy IPAs totally deliver! Ireland’s craft beer scene has exploded over the last decade with breweries popping up in big cities and small towns alike. One of the original breweries, and still the most creative and adventurous we have, is Eight Degrees Brewing based in Mitchelstown in north County Cork. The brainchild of an Aussie and a Kiwi who found friendship in frothy beers, their Juicy IPA, released last year as part of their Original Gravity series, is my favourite Juicy of all! Bursting with “coconut, tropical fruit, stone fruit, particularly apricot and sweet, perfumed vanilla” and delivering lush ripe “juicy” flavours of mango, pineapple, sweet fruits, it’s a lip-smacking thirst-quenching burst of juicy hoppy-ness! Slainte!
- Juicy Fruits
Of course, all fruits are juicy but few compare to the mighty succulence of the Pomegranate? The little bursting pockets of bright, tangy juice in every little seed bring so much delight. They are, of course, a food stylists dream, adding a dazzle of colour and juiciness to dishes both sweet and savoury. Pomegranate molasses had a heady spell as a darling ingredient of food bloggers everywhere, but aside from the hype it is truly delicious and a Swiss army knife of kitchen ingredients. Whether we bash the seeds out with a wooden spoon or watch reels of market traders quartering fruits with expert precision using ridiculous looking knives, what we crave more than anything is that first look of those shining, shimmery, juice-filled jewels. That’s why I love this simple, but wonderful image by @eatlikealocalmx …
- Watermelon Dreams
When I think of juicy food, I think of those that leave me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Melons of all kinds are a classic thirst-quencher, but it’s watermelon, with its striking pink centre and bright green skin, that is the favourite of Instagrammers everywhere! It is the least interesting tasting of melons, IMHO, but this just means it is ripe for pairing with other stronger flavours for new ways to eat this iconic fruit. It pairs so well with a lactic-tangy cheese; no surprises that this post from @freshfromflorida caught my eye then! Watermelon Lollypops with lime, coriander, paprika, chilli, and Cotija cheese (substitute for Pecorino or Parmesan cheese) – delicious!
Why has it taken me until the last post to mention citrus juice? Well, I guess you could say I’m saving the best until last! Citrus is an invaluable part of any kitchen store of ingredients, and even though we associate them with hot countries and summer holidays, they are at their peak in wintertime which is when we need them the most – chocka-block as they are with precious Vitamin C. From the mysterious deep colours of blood oranges, to festive clementines, to breakfast time grapefruits, and the ever-present lime and lemon – all are ready to lend interest and brightness to dishes both sweet and savoury, food and drink. Yuzu and Pomelo are newer to some of us that the standard guard of the citrus brigade, providing welcoming difference in citrus flavours. Apparently, citrus can easily crossbreed with different fruits sometimes appearing on the same tree! With that in mind, may there always be the potential for new citrus in our future.
But let’s revel in the beauty of these Kings of Juice, just like @throughherkitchenwindow has…