With all these new razzle dazzle functional beverages and the endless parade of caffeinated waters tickling our fancy, sometimes we forget about the simpler things in life, like LaCroix’s Curaté line, the sparkling water that captures the “romance” of Europe and Latin America for people who’ve never been to Europe or Latin America.
At this point, Curaté as an idea harkens back to simpler times, when Curaté was the only opportunity you had to get something more exotic than Pamplemousse. And well, sometimes the world makes us curl up in the fetal position and we yearn for those simpler times.
Hence cracking open a pretty, pastel Melón Pomelo to give our frazzled minds a buoy to cling to in this uncertain world.
So let’s unpack this Curaté!
Unlike the more loud, primary colors of most Curaté cans, we appreciate that the Melón Pomelo skews towards the Muré Pepino in pastel grace. The muted pinks and oranges with a sandy earth tone background, an earth tone so tasteful it could almost be a Benjamin Moore living room choice.
We also find the use of “Pomelo” fun here. It sounds like it should be Spanish for grapefruit (that would be toronja, however), particularly because LaCroix loves to throw around a fancy sounding foreign word like Pepino or Pomme Baya or Pastèque.
But Pomelo is actually just a regular-ass name you can use in English. Pomelo is its own fruit.
In fact, it’s the “principal ancestor of grapefruit”, which conjures images of a bearded citroid smiling down upon its rosey, dimpled descendent grapefruit from a pastel pink cloud in the heavens, while incarnate grapefruit attends numerous workshops and retreats, meditating valiantly to process trauma out of the family line for future generations of tart citrus.
Another note: the can says, underneath Melón Pomelo in very basic print, “Cantaloupe” and “Pink Grapefruit”. Classic LaCroix.
They clearly can’t fully commit to their flair for the international monikers, always having to clarify what it is. Curaté truly is at the heart of the LaCroix identity.
You’d think they wouldn’t want to make things difficult on themselves, but what do we really expect from a company with an emphatically French name cringily Americanized as Luh Croy?
Anyway, let’s drink!
The nose on this is surprisingly candied and lush. We tend to associate LaCroix flavors with words like “ok” and “fine” (their new summertime roster notwithstanding as they appear to be upping their game).
But this has something juicy and evocative that we don’t get from some of the other Curatés. Kiwi Sandia and Piña Fraise in particular are laughably underwhelming.
There’s definitely a distinct strain of cantaloupe floating through the air, which we love. Melón/Cantaloupe isn’t exactly the most universal of flavors. No one’s doing cantaloupe, really, unless you count the accidental appearance in Weller’s Watermelon.
But that’s not all! There is a sharp, acidic Pomelo, shooting across the background of the scent like a citroid comet. It’s a great symphonic noseful of things happening here.
Okay. Now this is a solid cantaloupe showing. Most LaCroix flavors taste a bit watered down and somehow vague, even when what you’re tasting is very specific. They just don’t dial it up the way a brand like AHA does, or aim for pristine precision like a Waterloo. But this Curaté has a solid presence, especially with the Melón half of the bargain.
Alas, just when you think they’ve knocked it out of the park, you realize you’re not tasting anything that could remotely be considered “citrus”.
Sadly, the Pomelo appears to be in name alone, unable to meet us halfway.
Melón Pomelo is indeed one of the cuter Curate names, almost sounding like a fluffy hybrid toy dog breed in its adorability. Come here, Melly Pomelo! Good boy. So, we get that they couldn’t pass up something so darling sounding. Especially with that melange of delightful pastels on the can. It takes us on some twee Amelie journey to a Parisian farmers market.
But sadly, the journey is all in the mind. No Pomelo rendered in the tangy flesh.
There’s an overarching brightness to the overall impression of the flavor that we suppose is a stand-in for Pomelo. An effervescent quality that keeps the flavor from getting too mired in the heavy, honeyed sweetness that can accompany a melon. But honestly it’s painted in the negative space of the flavor profile. It’s hard to credit LaCroix with any outstanding flavor sorcery. We wish we could taste it more.
Still, the melón is truly spot on. We love cantaloupe as a fruit because it’s never bitter or sour. It’s mellow and juicy, and even when it skews towards end-of-life mush it has a distinct flavor that still retains something unique and satisfying.
This is one of the lone cantaloupe offerings in the bubbleverse, so we’ll continue to come back to it from time to time. We’d never reach for this one for the “pomelo”, unless pomelos secretly taste like nothing.
We look up to the sky, supplicating insight from the great ancestral Pomelo in the sky. Alas, nothing.
As Pomelo above, so Pomelo below.
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