Before He Was Bard of Beer, Michael Jackson Was King of Carrot Juice
UPDATE: In case you missed it, this was an April Fools’ Day joke. To our knowledge, Michael Jackson never wrote about carrot juice.
LONDON (April 1)—Buried within his papers at England’s Oxford Brookes University are sheaves of the late critic Michael Jackson’s correspondence, clips and collected arcana on one subject in particular: carrot juice.
Jackson’s efforts in analyzing and evangelizing the vegetative byproduct is understandably overlooked amid his volumes of groundbreaking work on whisky and (especially) beer. But it goes back even further than his exertions in these fields.
It began in the mid-1960s with an unintended sidetrip to what was then West Germany. Jackson was covering a folk festival in the neighboring Netherlands for a Fleet Street newspaper when an acquaintance suggested he take a short bus ride into Lower Saxony, a locale renowned for centuries for not only its carrot and squash cultivation but the crafting of juice from these vegetables.
As a biographer of the critic later wrote, the young, goateed Jackson’s ride into Teutonic carrot country “was for him a crossing of a frontier that seeded all his other food and drink writing.” What, exactly, did Jackson discover on this initial journey? And what did he tell the world upon his return?