Liquiteria owner declares açaí craze over
Doug Green has a perfectly imperfect pedigree for a juice-apreuner. The founder of East Village institution Liquiteria comes from a family that made its fortune in cigarettes and his early jobs included restocking cigarette vending machines. Luckily for Green, the allure of antioxidants came to trump the temptation of tobacco in 1996 when he opened the popular juice bar.
On a recent trip to Liquiteria, Well+Good noticed that New York’s trend-setting juice bar had eschewed açaí, the antioxidant du jour. So we sat down with Green to discuss the açaí craze, why he doesn’t serve it, and what’s big in juice right now.
Açaí is noticeably absent from Liquiteria’s menu. Why?
Açaí is a buzzword. It’s the new pomegranate and the health food world is always looking for the next pomegranate. I call those people the healthy-come-latelies.
So you have a problem with açaí’s trendiness?
I have nothing against açaí when it’s served in Brazil. There it’s as common as apples are here and it’s everything it’s touted to be. But we ruin it when we import it because of shelf-life issues. It’s pasteurized and flashturized—all the beneficial bacteria and enzymes get destroyed, so it’s not such a Superfood anymore.
Okay, forget açaí. What are the new juice trends worth paying attention to?
People are moving toward more alkalizing leafy greens. When I first opened, people were into carrot, apple, and orange mixed together or fruit smoothies. Now people are embracing the exotic Superfoods. They are looking for anti-inflammatories that boost red blood cell count and build the immune system. They also want different herbs like maca and bee pollen. People are definitely more open-minded and more educated now.
What don’t people know that would surprise them?
That the bottled pressed juices we sell are actually better than the fresh made-to-order juices. People like to order custom juices, but those are made in the centrifugal juicer. It has a spinning blade, so you end up with an agitated air-filled juice which oxidizes quickly. Our bottled juices are made using a cold press method. It’s a better, more stable product that requires less effort to digest.
What’s your favorite juice?
Greens with carrot. Or greens with lemon, apple, and ginger. I am not a fruit guy.
Liquiteria, 170 Second Ave., at E. 11th, East Village, 212-358-0300, www.liquiteria.com
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