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Thoughts from author: Anna Clare

different drinks, different limes

As anyone who’s ever drunk a mojito or dipped a Dorito in homemade guacamole knows, fresh lime juice can be a game changer. A couple of months back, Easton and Fernando from our Fruit Team travelled over to Mexico & Honduras in search of the best tasting limes for our drinks. We use limes to add a fresh, tasty citrus kick to quite a few of our recipes (11 to be exact).

We only source our limes from three different farms. At one of those farms, the limes are hand washed which means it takes about twelve days to produce one container of lime juice.

   

Limes from Honduras have a very different flavour to limes from Mexico. Limes from Honduras are sharp and sour, whereas limes from Mexico are less intense and easier to drink. Both have their time to shine when it comes to adding a kick to our drinks, though.

 

There are only two varieties of lime– Persian limes and Key limes. We only source Persian limes as they taste much better in our drinks. Key limes are more bitter. Sub-lime in pies, though. We’ll give them that.

messing about as boats

When you hold a desert island themed fancy dress party, you assume most people will grab a Hawaiian shirt and stick a flower in their hair. You don’t expect a whole team to come dressed as a pirate ship, complete with side cannons and a golden body painted figurehead, but that’s exactly what our Contract Management Team decided to do. 

Our Sam was asked to dress as ‘starboard’ so his wife, Mrs Woollet who teaches class Cedar 3 at Highwood Primary School, helped put his costume together. Her class were very disappointed that Sam’s bit of the boat didn’t win a prize (we forgot to award any) so they made a few themselves. 

 

Great mateys, the lot of you.

fruit fishing in Costa Rica

A few weeks back, Mario and Easton from our Fruit Team travelled over to sunny Costa Rica in search of the best tasting bananas, oranges and pineapples to crush into our drinks.

 

First stop: bananas. Here they are growing upwards on the trees, casually defying gravity.

 

While a lot of plants are happy to sit about in the soil twiddling their thumbs all year, bananas are actually walking plants. In one banana plant there are three generations; the grandmother, who produces the first bunch of tasty bananas, the mother who gives the next bunch and several sons who grow at the bottom, next to the mother. The farmer will choose the son in the best location and the family will rotate every year. They end up walking about forty centimetres, which isn’t quite a marathon winning pace but is still pretty good for a plant.

Mario and Easton didn’t mess about when it came to their own walking either. One of the farms they visited was the size of 3000 football pitches, and contained 412,000 orange trees (we don’t think they managed to see them all).

And, if you thought that was impressive, another farm they stopped at was growing 46,800,000 pineapples at various stages of maturity. That's a lot of pineapples.

 

If you fancy getting your own pineapple population going, you can plant one in the garden by cutting off the crown, removing some of the lower leaves and popping it in the ground. The only downside is you’ll need warm and sunny conditions (good luck), and patience as they take about twelve months to grow.

So, unless you’ve got a spare pineapple sauna lying about and a bit of time to kill before next summer, it’s probably best to leave the growing to us.

saying hola to our strawberries

We use a lot of different fruits in our drinks. Pretty much all of them, actually (if you don’t count the weird ones you sometimes get with posh desserts). To make sure that we’re only ever putting the best tasting ingredients into our drinks, we go out and visit our farmers during the season of each fruit to make sure everything meets our standards and that the farm is ship shape from a technical, safety, quality and sustainability point of view. April means strawberry season in Spain so our Elodie and Lotte went over a couple of weeks back to pay a visit to our sunny Spanish farms.

 

While on their travels, they met with Pepe, one of our farmers. He has been working at the farm for more than thirty years and is really passionate about his work. Elodie and Lotte had the chance to try a few of his strawberries and can confirm that they were delicious (and would make a lovely pair of earrings). 

 

While the strawberries are in season, one plant will flower an average of eight times and it takes roughly twenty one days between the flower blossoming and picking an actual strawberry that we can use in our drinks. We don’t mind waiting around a bit for the perfect berry and we know they’re ready when they’ve grown large, orangey-red and sweet with a jammy flavour.

 

While we’re very picky about the taste of our berries, we aren’t picky about what they look like. We're happy to include all the weirdly shaped strawberries that the fresh market doesn’t want, which means there’s pretty much no waste.

Berry-illiant.

and the award goes to...

 

We don’t normally like to go on about all the awards we’ve won (except on this page dedicated to all the awards we’ve won) but we’re really proud to say that the innocent foundation has just picked up a Better Society award for their work with Action Against Hunger

Together they’ve launched a ground-breaking project that aims to stop children dying from severe hunger all around the world by transforming access to treatment services. By empowering community health workers to diagnose and treat children at home, rather than expecting their parents to walk up to 40km to the nearest clinic every week for treatment, they can tackle undernutrition head on.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about all the awesome stuff they've achieved so far, you can have a read here.