Dietribes: Smoothies

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Mmm, Smoothies. A delicious and refreshing snack (and depending on the size, possibly a meal). Here are some interesting facts and figures regarding this frosty treat.

"¢ The word "Smoothie" evolved through many meanings. Initially it described "A person who is 'smooth' (sense 7); one who is suave or stylish in conduct or appearance: usu. a man," and was later used to define a variety of products including automotive paint, bicycles, caps and gloves.

"¢ By the 1960s, "Smoothie" came to mean a fruity beverage, thanks to a resurgence in macrobiotic vegetarianism, and went on to increase in popularity from there. In 2002, the juice and smoothie business surpassed $1 billion in sales for the first time, and is now closer to a $2.5 billion industry.

"¢ According to SmoothieCentral.com, "The smoothies of old differed by today's standards because most did not have ice milk, or frozen yogurt in them. They were basically fruit, fruit juice, and ice." More definitions of current Smoothies can be found here.

"¢ Often considered part of a healthy diet, temper your desires to consume a smoothie-a-day. Smoothie King's Hulk Chocolateâ„¢ has 919 calories in a 20 oz serving. For reference, a Hardee's 1/3 lb Bacon Cheeseburger has 910 calories.

"¢ Smoothies are for some people (like our own Jason English) a necessity. Paul McCartney brought a nanny and a "smoothie girl," on his Wings tours, and Nickel Creek's Grammy nominated "Smoothie Song" was named after a smoothie vendor at a Four Corners Folk Festival brought the band members their frosty beverages (and obviously earned a place in their heart).

"¢ Different regions have their own take on the concept of fruit drinks. If you live on the West Coast, you might go to a Juice Bar (such as Jamba Juice) whereas in the Southeast you visit a Smoothie Shop (such as Smoothie King, which franchised the Smoothie concept, and Planet Smoothie, based in my home of Atlanta, Georgia).

"¢ The Juice and Smoothie Association reports that the top fruit flavor combo is strawberry juice and banana. What are some of your favorite concoctions?

[Previous Dietribes: Strawberries, Macaroni & Cheese, McIntosh Apples]

'Dietribes' appears every Wednesday. Food photos are usually taken by Johanna Beyenbach. This week, however, Jason English took it upon himself to shamelessly plug the Planet Smoothie in Roxbury, New Jersey, where he enjoys the 44-ounce 'Twig & Berries' and overstays his welcome while hogging the free wireless internet. He would love for this place to stay in business. So if you're anywhere near Roxbury, please stop in.

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February 20, 2008 - 5:45am
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