Friday, December 4, 2009

More thoughts on food

I've decided that the quintessential Southern food is not a food, but a drink: sweet tea. It's ice tea with a few tablespoons of sugar. If you can still taste the tea, it aint sweet enough to be called sweet tea -- you should only be able to taste the sugar. People joke that you know that there's enough sugar in it when you can drop a spoon into the glass and it stands upright.

Sweat tea is served as if it were water here. At my company's holiday party every place setting had both water and tea. At restaurants the sweet tea options are featured prominently at the top of the menu -- fruit flavoring is added. This wiki article does a good job describing the Southern sweet tea obsession.

The other major regional difference is the total lack of bagels here. The truth is that it's an ethnic food -- you can only find them in cities with Jews. But in those cities, its popularity transcends the Jews. Apparently people have tried to open Manhattan Bagel type cafes/restaurants in Montgomery, but they always failed. The supermarkets sell Philadelphia Cream Cheese, but I'm not sure what exactly you're supposed to use it for without any bagels (ok, I realize that cream cheese is an ingredient in other foods, but it's still strange that the primary food it goes with is missing). That reminds me of when I was in Florence. The breakfast buffet at my hotel had Philadelphia Cream Cheese, but now bagels. Really, what were you supposed to do with the cream cheese? Put it on bread?

I've done some mail ordering from DiBruno Brothers; Zabars will follow soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment