some things i just don’t understand

The thing to drink down here in the South during a hot summer-time meal is “sweet tea”. For the Yankees, this would be known as iced tea with sugar. It is truly one of the most fantastic elements brought by Southerners to the world of cuisine. It’s addicting, and I could probably drink a gallon of it at a time if left to my own devices. The difference between sweet tea and iced tea with sugar is that the sugar is added to sweet tea immediately after brewing before it is served. For sweetened iced tea, the sugar is added by the drinker after it has been served – this is not sweet tea – this is a waste of time.

In my opinion sweet tea is the one and only way to drink cold tea (with the exception of an iced chai, which is something completely different). Of course the option is always available to you at a Southern restaurant to get unsweetend ice tea, but I believe this to be the most god-forsaken beverage known to man. It does not taste good. There is no redeeming quality to the unsweetend iced tea, and the Southerns know this.

Were you to walk into a restaurant and you wanted good old-fashioned sweet tea, you would simply say, “I’d like some sweet tea”, and they would know exactly what you mean, done deal, and your beverage is on the way.

But were you to walk in and say, “I’d like some iced tea”, they would immediately know they are dealing with a moron. Next they are forced to ask the question, “Would you like that sweetened or unsweetend?” Each day they set aside a few gallons of their brewed tea and leave it unsweetened for idiots. So you order your “unsweetened iced tea”, and what happens next – as soon as it’s brought to the table, you start dumping packet after packet of sugar into it. That’s just an excercise in foolishness if you ask me. And as for the unsweetend iced tea (left unsweetened)… why in the world would you take a wonderful meal and finish it off with a nice tall glass of crap? Why don’t you just blend up some chalk and drink that?

Sweet tea goes particularly well with certain types of food: Burgers, fried chicken, BBQ, catfish, etc…. you know, Southern food. Unsweetend iced tea is good for, oh, I don’t know… pouring down the sewer, dumping on your cat… water balloons. Some things I just don’t understand, and unsweetend iced tea is one of them.

    • Chris Hill
    • July 19th, 2007

    Sometimes I like cold, unsweetened iced tea. And sweet tea is often too sweet for me. There are a lot of really, really dumb people in the south, though. Maybe not in the mid-south, in Tennessee, but in the south-south… yeah… really dumb… morons, some of them. Maybe the sweet tea does it. But it seems like the standard should be sweet tea, and if you want it unsweetened, that should be a special requested option.

    • uncle tim
    • July 20th, 2007

    your blog sounds more like mine every day…joy wells up in my heart…I’ve made you a bitter food critic. Soon we’ll have the same beer gut.

    • Jeff Lash
    • July 24th, 2007

    Finally…someone who will stand up for those afflicted by mistaken ideas of what sweet tea really is. As you mentioned, adding sugar to iced tea is pointless. What you end up with is unsweetened tea with a pile of sugar at the bottom. Great…just what I had in mind. In my mind, there is no such thing as sweetened tea. It is either sweet tea or dirty water. However, Demos’ restaurant has come up with a great solution to this problem. Putting a warm liquid sugar mixture in a syrup dispenser to add to your tea is a brilliant concept. You can make it as sweet as you want and because it is warm and liquid, it blends perfectly. So take notes everyone, Demos’ is on the cutting edge of sweet tea.

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