Sunday, March 8, 2020

Aloes good enough to eat!

Aloes have a long history of medicinal use, not just where they're native but also elsewhere. Sunburn or minor skin irritation? Aloe gel is the go-to choice for many.

But I didn't know that aloes are also finding their way into foodstuffs. My wife recently surprised me with this:


Intriguing for sure, although one thing made me laugh: “Aloe Vera flavored.” Tasting of what, exactly, other than green and possibly grassy?

I love a challenge, so I did a taste test. You know, anything for the readers of Succulents and More!


I was glad to see that “aloe vera gel pieces” actually appeared before sugar in the list of ingredients. Still, “gel pieces” doesn't sound too appetizing. I assumed they're leaf chunks without the skin.


Yes, that's exactly what they are: “the succulent inner parts of the aloe vera leaf.” No indication what species they use, but probably Aloe barbadensis, the “common” aloe, seeing how there's no species called Aloe vera.


As you can see in the photo above, the yogurt is very runny—I guess that's what they call “Japanese style.” It tasted, hmmmmmm, interesting. I had expected a grassy, herbal taste but it was actually faintly floral—a bit like a generic flower potpourri. Not that a floral note in yogurt is a desirable thing in my book!

Overall, I didn't like it. It was too thin, too weird, and way too sweet. My favorite style of yogurt is Icelandic skyr: thick and tart. In other words, the opposite of this.

In addition to the original flavor I tried, alove aloe yogurt also comes in strawberry, blueberry, peach, kiwi, and vanilla. I still think I'll pass. Instead of eating aloes, I'd rather enjoy them in the garden.

Walking through the Asian food aisle of our neighborhood supermarket, I spotted another aloe edible: “diced aloe vera in syrup.” I supposed that's like alove yogurt without the yogurt part. Shockingly pricey at $5.39.


Another aloe sighting in the beverage aisle: “Aloe Vera Drink with natural Aloe Vera Gel.” Either “Natural Honey,” or mango or pomegranate with “low sugar.” At $3.99, I wasn't tempted to try it either. Again, I prefer to look at aloes, not ingest them.


I wonder where the “aloe vera” craze will take us next. My guess: toilet paper. Extra soothing.



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10 comments:

  1. Must admit the yogurt does not look appetizing. What are the claimed health benefits of using aloe?

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    1. Kris was kind enough to do a quick Google search. See her comment below.

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  2. Okay, that's a new one! Kudos to you for being daring enough to try it. For kicks, I queried online sources for insights into the health benefits of aloe and found a long and very varied list, including treating dermatitis, reducing dental plaque, reducing constipation, lowering blood sugar and preventing stomach ulcers. I should note that sources did NOT include the Mayo Clinic or anyone else with a similar reputation.

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    1. Wow, that's a lot of "benefits!" Reducing dental plaque, that make laugh. Thanks for doing the research!

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  3. Interesting! Thank you for trying so I don't have to...

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  4. Can't say that any of those sound remotely appealing!

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    1. So the next time you visit, I shouldn't serve you vanilla ice cream topped with diced aloe vera in syrup?

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    2. You're kind to offer, but no. No, thank you.

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