Tropical tasting

tries out some not-so-normal smoothie flavours

I looked at the little shot glass and the stuff inside. It was a marbled vibrant green colour that would be beautiful in anything but something I had to consume. But I’d gleefully drunk the rest of the free samples, so when they handed me this wheatgrass concoction, necking it was the only option.

I was determined to try something different, hence my foray into smoothies. Healthy, the same price as a pint and probably wont kill you. After a brief mosey around the city, it turns out York only has one smoothie shop.

Xing Smoothies is a Shambles shop that you’ve all probably seen, and like me, probably never been into. Started by two University of Hull graduates who began their business by buying £300 worth of fruit from Tesco and experimenting on their friends, the enthusiasm is obvious. As soon as I’d stuttered an introduction, I was swept up into a frenetic conversation and peppered with facts whilst being handed samples of vibrant coloured juices and smoothies.

Ginger? That’s for queasiness. Ginkgo? Good for memory and blood flow. Beetroot? Helps the liver, apparently.

This wasn’t the pleasant chatter of someone killing time, or a pushy ‘buy-my-stuff’ speech, this was people who were inspired, addicted and practically lived off their products. Moreover, as I experimented, they dished out advice to others with the same enthusiasm. So the wheatgrass shot shouldn’t have surprised me.

It was by no means the most unpleasant shot I’ve taken. It tasted a little like green tea but thicker, stronger and bitter. You’ll be grateful it comes with a slice of orange to get rid of the taste. I have a sneaking suspicion that they serve it just to see the faces people make. Other than the comedy gold, it’s also (apparently) a ‘super food’.

I tried a range of drinks. ‘Berry Good’ (a mix of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries juice and yogurt) was a rough, sweet and thick drink, which pretty much epitomised comfort food. ‘Peachy Dream’ (mixed peach, strawberries, mango yogurt, cranberry juice and apple juice) was less sweet. It was a silky, floral smoothie, noticeably lighter than the ‘Berry Good’. ‘Raspberry Lemonade’, made from lemon, apples and raspberries, was crisper, and lighter still. The variety amazed me. All were utterly different from commercial, packaged drinks such as Innocent Smoothies or Tropicana.

A more adventurous mix was the ‘Liver Cleanser’ (carrot, apple, lime and beetroot). I’ve never been a fan of beetroot but decided to give it a go anyway. It turned out to be delicious. It wasn’t particularly sweet drink. Thicker than the juices, thinner than the smoothies and a bright crimson colour. Unlike any juice or smoothie I’d ever tried, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Although I can’t comment on how ‘cleansed’ my liver was, with prices for regular drinks in Xing around the £3.00 mark, Xing is not only a healthy option but a fun and tasty one.

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