Childhood memories in a glass bottle

February 20, 2011 § 18 Comments

Apple juice. Such a simple, common American drink; a favorite among so many children. And a favorite among so many parents and teachers–apple juice doesn’t stain like grape juice or soda! (I learned this lesson myself when I taught four-year-old Catholic Sunday school. Apple juice and white grape juice were total winners.)

When I drink apple juice, I experience two kinds of joy. The first is the usual joy one receives from a palate that is utterly pleased. I do not have a complicated, adventurous palate. Salt is typically enough seasoning for me. I believe I could qualify as someone who is a supertaster; I have no trouble tasting a food simply by smelling it. Often, the “taste” lingers on my tongue as though I actually experienced it by the mouth rather than by olfaction. Particularly displeasurable to my palate are most spices (as Gollum says so perfectly, “It burns us!”) and carbonation (more burning!). (More on carbonation in a moment.) I have been mocked by foodie friends with more adventurous palates; I have gagged on raw pineapple; my tongue breaks out into firey hives when I drink orange juice. To me, apple juice is divine.

The second joy I experience when I drink apple juice, and a particular apple juice especially, runs even deeper. My favorite apple juice in the entire world is Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Juice:

Oh, can you hear the angels singing?

You see, when I was a little girl, my grandmother stocked her refrigerator with Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Juice. (The funny thing about my palate and carbonation is that Martinelli’s was never offensive to me. I don’t know the mechanics of it, but it seems less fizzy than, say, a soda or even a carbonated alcoholic beverage; at least, my tongue wasn’t on fire when I would drink it.) I always believed that Martinelli’s was a special apple juice not only because I normally only drank it at my grandmother’s house but also because it was in a glass bottle. Not a paper package with a little dinky straw. Not even in a break-proof plastic bottle. No, this big girl was entrusted with drinking the liquid gold from a perfectly breakable glass bottle. It was a real treat.

This afternoon I decided to treat myself with a Martinelli’s from Earth Fare while Robert indulged with a Mexican Coca-Cola (no high-fructose corn syrup, you know). The minute I touched lips to glass rim, my heart and head filled with joy. Immediately, I was five years old, perched atop a wooden stool behind my grandparents’ bar-top kitchen island. The glass bottle fit better in one hand at the age of 29 than it did when I was five. And the juice ran out a great deal faster than when I was five.

But the experience…the experience was exactly the same.

Photo courtesy The Dr Soda Company

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§ 18 Responses to Childhood memories in a glass bottle

  • Cristine says:

    This is such a sweet post and perfectly captures the joy we find in food. This was a pleasure to read!

  • Sure a great story! So many foods have memories, thanks for sharing this!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed reading. I’m always amazed just how strongly certain foods will evoke specific memories. Haha, sometimes I wonder just how much of my life I’ve spent eating! 😉

  • I really enjoyed this post. My husband tells me I am a supertaster. I have a problem with most spicy food, and overreact to even a tiny bit of pepper or some spices.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Oh my gosh! That’s me too! My husband will say, “Oh, you’ll enjoy this. it’s not spicy at all.” Next thing I know, I’m chugging a glass of ice water. Sigh. Is garlic spicy to you? We just bought this amazing garlic cheese spread from Earth Fare, and I was surprised to find out that it was spicier in taste than the jarred minced garlic is.

  • Lauren says:

    I remember Martinelli’s 🙂 I remember the short, round bottles (non-sparkling version). When especially homesick, I have bought one of those little glass “apples” and it really makes my heart sing! Such innocent, happy times!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Oh yes…the little ones as well are utterly special. Maybe she got us the non-sparkling ones? I don’t know, lol. But I do know that the carbonation in this version of the apple juice doesn’t bother me like it does in sodas. I’m glad, though, that we share in that happy memory of drinking out of grown-up glass bottles. Do you remember how we used to blow over the tops to make “music”? We were so talented! 😉

  • Clearly, I haven’t lived, as I’ve not had Martinelli’s, but I too have a very simple palate–boringly simple to Sara. Oh, well, what’s a mouth to do?

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Then you will adore Martinelli’s! It’s perfect for simple palates! Next time you’re stateside, you should be on the look-out for it. (Or, I think you can actually order it online, lol.)

  • Tori Nelson says:

    I am jealous of your supertaster abilities. I need to eat the whole cake before I even taste the frosting 🙂
    Great post!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Lmao, Tori…just reading that made my mouth pucker up from the sweetness. And don’t be jealous of my bland palate–I’m dreadfully boring at new restaurants and on vacation. I’m jealous of people who can taste all flavor profiles in their harmonious beauty and can enjoy all foods!

  • Robert says:

    True story: I drank so much apple juice as a kid that the acidity of it ate the enamel off of my two front teeth. I had to have them pulled when I was about kindergarten-age. To this day, I still hate the song “all I want for Christmas is my two-front-teeth” because of NOT having my teeth for, like, five years.

    Sparkling apple juice reminds me of New Years Eve when I was a kid. While the adults sipped their champagne, the kids had the choice between sparkling grape or apple juices. Much to my teeth’s demise, I always picked Apple

  • Cori says:

    Did you ever drink the sparkling grape juice? It reminds me of being little. My mom always gave it to us for New Year’s Eve.

    My back in time drink is glass-bottled Sun Drop, which you can only get in my part of the South. It’s the best. They use real sugar and squeezed citrus, so there’s pulp at the bottom of the bottle. When I wanted to treat myself, I used to bring it back to Auburn after I visited my parents.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      I never have tried Martinelli’s grape juice–typically I don’t drink grape juice until it’s fermented a while in a wooden barrel. 😉 Maybe I’ll give it a taste sometime!

      Haha, I’ve never heard of Sun Drop. Is it like Sunny D? I do think that sometimes we have to treat ourselves to those pleasures from home to help us get through a tough patch. 🙂

  • Very well said, Mrs. H.

    This is a lovely story and I enjoyed reading it. Would you mind if I posted a link to your post on the Martinelli’s Facebook page (

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