At first I thought health food stores, smoothie stands, and cafes just wanted to add some foliage behind the counter when I noticed the little patches of potted grass. Then I saw a waitress cut a chunk out with a knife, toss it in a blender, and pour it into a shot glass; I knew I was wrong.
“Shot of wheatgrass, please,” the woman in front of me ordered. Guzzling grass? I was intrigued. After researching, I discovered that this green beverage is actually a popular request in restaurants across the city. At “Greener Pastures Wheatgrass Stand” in Union Square Park you can purchase a shot of wheatgrass, or even your own wheatgrass plant if you perfer. Most health food stores and cafes also carry the plant; if you are in the Lower East Side you may want to head to Earthmatters on Ludlow Street. Here, not only can not you buy the shots, but also smoothies, such as “High Energy,” which contains wheat grass, greens, and celery.
Why are New Yorkers demanding wheatgrass in their diets? According to WebMD, it is packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, E, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron. Many believe it cures colds, fevers, digestive ailments, and skin conditions, and can even prevent serious diseases like cancer and AIDS, but nothing has been scientifically proven.
I have never tasted this trendy drink, but I hear its an acquired taste. If you have, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it! If I hear good things, I’ll give it a shot.