It’s a totally real thing
promoted by the state’s Department of Citrus, which you should not be surprised to hear is also a real thing. Florida is proud of its citrus, even offering visitors cups of orange juice at the state’s welcome centers — perhaps softening the blow of having to use a rest stop.
Most Floridians have strong preferences on their orange juice, so we decided to reach out to every member of Florida’s congressional delegation to squeeze some answers out of them regarding what is arguably the state’s greatest export.
Of the 29 members of the Florida delegation, 15 responded — nine Republicans and six Democrats. This is by no means conclusive analysis. But let’s keep in mind we’re talking about a breakfast/welcome center drink, so let’s keep this lighthearted.
Thirteen respondents say their offices have Florida orange juice available for visitors and constituents, while two others indicated that a juice fridge is something they’re working on.
Based on the responses, it seems like Tropicana is the unofficial juice provider for most of respondents, even providing branded refrigerators to some offices. The company did not return a request for comment.
Offices don’t choose what kind of juice is delivered, with deliveries varying from Some Pulp to No Pulp. On thing is clear: orange juice is a big hit. Look at Rep. Al Lawson’s overjoyed staffer reacting to an OJ delivery!
On a February trip to the offices of Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, CNN found Tropicana in both offices — although it should be noted that the senator only had one bottle of the stuff left — with Rubio repping Some Pulp and Wasserman Schultz laying claim to None.
Speaking of pulp preferences, a bipartisan majority of eight, including Sen. Bill Nelson, said that they prefer No Pulp. Even if there are times when they don’t agree on legislation, (they split along party lines on the health care bill), there is at least one thing a majority stands behind.
Even then, several lawmakers had willingness to show flexibility.
“I keep consistently no pulp regardless of the location. However sometimes Mrs. Soto buys Some Pulp OJ and I drink it rather than let it go to waste,” Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, who represents one of Florida’s largest citrus-producing counties, told CNN via email.
Interestingly, all six respondents who preferred pulp were from the GOP.
Republican Rep. Daniel Webster’s office explained via email, “His parents had orange trees and his mom would juice them, she included pulp and expected him and his sister to drink it that way.”
Two members indicated that they can find their juice on both sides of the grocery aisle. And one of them could not choose between the options given as part of the informal survey. According to Rubio’s press secretary, the senator chooses between “No Pulp and Some Pulp — as long as it’s from Florida!”
Rep. Charlie Crist, who has served as both the Republican governor of the state and a Democratic member of the House, goes right down the middle with his choice. Some Pulp.
Regardless of preferences, it’s always sweet to have a taste of Sunshine on the Hill.