Gout Smoothie Anyone?

A while back, my wife and I went shopping for carpet at Home Depot. Flipping through the sample boards turned out to be unexpectedly entertaining—for one collection, at least. Each pattern had a name, and each name seemed to be trying to conjure a feeling approximating the background music in an upscale spa. There were endless variations: Refreshment, Rejuvenation, Harmony, Tranquility. Then, amid all these evocations of inner peace and moonbeams–and in what could only have been a case of extreme definitional confusion–we came to a carpet called Vexation.

If only we’d been shopping for our nemesis!  Here was a flooring solution that promised to evoke the state of being annoyed and frustrated.

But today, as I scarfed down a giant goat roti at Brown Sugar Bakery (watch out for bone shards; or better yet, stick to the sublimely soft $2 doubles—curried garbanzos sandwiched between fried flatbreads and touched with a sweet chutney), I saw something that Vexation didn’t even come close to touching: a fruit-and-vegetable smoothie called Anxiety & Panic Attack.

It was made of pear, carrots and celery—and is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Brown Sugar’s newest product line. The Trinidadian takeout spot at 52nd and Chancellor streets will begin serving its vast menu of smoothies “soon,” I was told after marveling at the menu board they’ve just put up.

There’s the Menopause, the Gout and the Colitis. There’s a smoothie for yeast infections, another for menstrual disorder. If you like the idea of combining cabbage, tomato, and either orange or lemon (and are none too psyched about the state of your sphincter), Brown Sugar will soon be the only place in town (right?) where you can order a drink called Varicose Veins Hemorrhoids. Take that, whimsically-named Prohibition cocktails!

All things considered, it would be much better to suffer from Arthritis. Brown Sugar’s prescription for that ailment calls for purple grapes, blueberries or blackberries, and raspberries. (An identical concoction is offered under the moniker High Cholesterol, so…bonus.)

Some of the smoothies make their own sort of sense. The Attention Deficit Disorder mashes up pineapple, kale, lemon, apple, and carrot–five wildly diverse ingredients definitely being the minimum for your garden-variety Ritalin kid. And the Stress, which features green apples, dandelion, carrots, and (red, I suppose) apples, also seems about right. If you find yourself drinking pulverized dandelion weeds, there’s an excellent chance that your day cannot get much worse.

Besides fitting in deftly with the Caribbean yen for health tonics (not to mention vitality tonics–Mandingo Roots, anyone?), this idea has limitless potential. Just imagine the trove of public-health data that could be generated by the practice of naming drinks after health afflictions. Health officials could pop into Brown Sugar once a month, examine the receipts, and come up with an inventory of what’s ailing a whole swath of West Philadelphia. Maybe the city ought to be trimming its outreach budget for anxiety disorders and pumping more resources into gout prevention.  Who knows?

Well, Brown Sugar will, soon enough.

Brown Sugar Bakery [Official website]