Welcome to another edition of LaCroix Curaté, aka Wisconsin Carbonated Water Studies Abroad.
We like to indulge in enchanting sparkling water fantasies where Cerise Limón, a homespun girl-next-door from Racine, goes Full French during her summer in Provence. A Cherry returning to the farm as beret-wearing resplendent “Cerise”. Everyone call me Odette now, si vous plaît.
As the saying goes, how can you gonna keep that Lemon on the farm after they’ve seen Gay Paree?
Anyway, today’s Bon Voyage is Pomme Bayá, which is a real fancy Frenchified way of sayin’…Cran-Apple.
The Curaté line is supposed to be “inspired by the romance of French and Spanish cultures,” but nothing says run-of-the-mill domestic US flavor combo like “cran-apple”. We hear the Midwestern nasal twang even as we write the words.
We want to feel like this is about to take us to Monaco via Isla Mujeres, but instead we feel the first crunch of Ohio’s leaves beneath our feet mixed with a heavy dose of confusion.
So what’s happening here?
While we’re examining the wool LaCroix has pulled over our eyes, we spent a fair amount of time searching for some language in which “Bayá” means “Cranberry”. And we turned up nothing.
Baya (without the superfluous accent) means “berry” in Spanish, but what monster hears the word “berry” and instantly conjures up a “cranberry” in their mind? Is that person out there?
Bayá in this instance is a loose & inappropriately accented interpretation at best.
Beyond that, we have a predominantly chartreuse can splattered with splashy orange and bright red “berries” that says ill-advised Caribbean Cruise, not subdued New England harvest, which is our go-to Cran-Apple association.
Because let’s be honest, when someone says “cran-apple”, you inevitably say to yourself, bust out the cider and pumpkin spice candles, it’s “spooky season”! (“Spooky Season”, née. 2018)
But let’s move on for now. Our detective work is done for today.
Let’s get back to the “bayá” at hand. 🙄 Maybe this will take us on our promised exotic journey and we’ll leave the caramel-colored cornucopias in the dust?
Well, the nose on this does take us somewhere. We get heavy banana notes spun up with some cotton candy sugar, so already we’re stopping at an unforeseen port that wasn’t on the itinerary. We’re game, even though we’re still not sure LaCroix isn’t just playing us.
LaCroix claims that Curaté flavors “dance on the palate”. And dancing can run the gamut from a dignified minuet to a full-on “Yo Perreo Sola” discoteca grind, so analogically, curaté can be real good or leave you wanting to socially distance for an indefinite amount of time.
This one falls somewhere in the Drunk Tourist Trying to Dance Sexy But Totally Failing category. Yes, you are feeling yourself, but maybe you need to tone it down a bit, none of those movements you’re making make any sense.
It’s hard to escape the banana vibes once you feel them. There’s a tartness at the end that telegraphs “cranberry”, but this is not a reverent expression of either Apple or Cranberry. If you’re looking for those, we highly recommend Good and Gather’s Cranberry Citrus or AHA’s Apple Ginger.
There is some apple in here, but it’s a sweet, candied apple, morphing back and forth into the banana like you just ate a handful of Runts and they are in your mouth screaming “fruuuit” at each other.
That aforementioned tartness arrives in time to pucker this silliness, cleansing your tastebuds and sobering you up just enough before you go back to the candy buffet on the next sip.
Over time, the aromatics from the fruit diminish, and by the bottom half of the can you’re actually left with a fairly subtle and refreshing walk through the baya bog on a crisp evening.
In fact, you know what? We like this. We went around the world in rancor, and arrived back in our homes deciding it’s a pretty pleasant and enjoyable sip afterall.
And just so you know we’re not some sinister Curaté haters, the radiant Múre Pepino is one of our all time favorite bubblers, and we actually do prefer this CranApple over some of the more generically sweet Curaté combinations like Kiwi Sandía and Piña Fraise.
"Carbonated Water, Naturally Essenced"