Place – In the raw: the sweet power of cane

2010-06-12 08:10

A favourite spot where ­communities from across North Africa and

the ­Middle East meet is a tiny, ­unassuming shop called the Juice Den.

A must-stop for late-night shoppers at the popular Fordsburg Square

­Oriental Flea Market, the Juice Den is famous for its raw sugar cane


As you step into the Den, buckets of avocados and long sticks of

sugar cane push your taste buds into overdrive. One taste and you’re


Not only is it sweet and refreshing, sugar cane juice contains 15%

natural sugar and is rich in organic ­vitamins.

But it doesn’t end there. Sugar cane juice has many medicinal

­properties, including balancing the body during bouts of fever and ­fortifying

the stomach, kidneys, heart, eyes and reproductive organs.

Den manager Ismail Hassen uses one ton of sugar cane every week to

supply his loyal customers.

Known locally as the “juice uncle”, ­Ismail says: “This business is

based on passion. I keep a close relationship with my farmers in Richards Bay

and I know that the cane we use is ­always of the highest quality. That is

­important to me.”

At the Den, the cane juice is also used as a base for a variety of

other fresh juices. A firm favourite is avocado and cane juice, a creamy

smoothie that ­transports you in to a state of nirvana.

The Juice Den is open daily. For ­maximum pleasure, visit the

market after 5pm from Thursday to Sunday where you will see families from all

walks of life strolling along the ­narrow lanes.

» The Juice Den, Shop No. 1, Cnr Commercial Street and Central

Road, Fordsburg Square ­Oriental Flea Market 0825031901

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