Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Root beer floats

Eastside Road, July 6, 2011—
IT COULD BE POINTED OUT, by anyone who wanted to pick at things, that to eat chocolate-chip cookies and drink root beer floats is not to fast. Rather more nuts than usual at tea-time, and those with lemonade rather than tea, complicate the matter. But it was another hot day, and family is visiting. You're not a great-grandfather every day.


Curtis Faville said...

When I was a kid growing up in Napa, our parents often took us to A & W Root Beer restaurants. Before that, in the 1950's, I can still recall, whenever we were traveling, stopping at gas stations, and opening up these big tubs of soda-pop, where the bottles were ranked along metal grids, submerged in chilled water with ice-cubes floating. To purchase one, you pulled the bottle sideways along a grid to the dispensing point, and dropped your dime into the slot. The brands were Nehi, Byerly's Orange, Coke, 7-Up, Ginger Ale, and Squirt (I think Squirt was introduced in the mid-1950's). Those sodas tasted incredibly good in those days, perhaps because cars didn't have air conditioning, and long hot Central Valley drives were really ordeals.

Root Beer. Later I came to know the flavor was actually considered part of a family of flavors which included Sassafras, Sarssparilla, and a host of other spices.

Root Beer floats are heavenly. Vanilla ice cream.

Have you tried the new craze: Rich chocolate gelato sprinkled with sea salt and Balsamic vinegar poured on top? It's truly miraculous.

Charles Shere said...

Haven't tried the postmodern vinegar sundae yet, but I'll get around to it.

Funny thing about root beer: no European we've served it to has liked it, not one bit. It's odd: to me, root beer is a distant cousin of Fernet Branca, than which nothing can be more European, specifically Italian. What about all those French and Italian bitters? What about Jägermeister, for that matter? But root beer, no: there they draw the line.

Curtis Faville said...

Europeans have a different taste concept.

When I was in Japan, they had lots of soft drinks, but they didn't have nearly as much sugar. The soft drinks came in much smaller cans. The typical beer can size was huge, however, almost a full quart.

I don't recall seeing much soda-pop in Europe. That may be changing, with the spread of American fast food chains around the world.

I think it's disgusting how Americans will order a Coke in a fine restaurant. Steak frites with Coke. Or steak frites with bad iced tea. Yuck.

Daniel Wolf said...

The strangest thing about the European aversion to root beer that I've observed is that many find root beer to taste like bubble gum, a connection I would never make myself.