I live in the southeastern US and up until last year, I considered sugar laden tea to be the best thing that the human race had to offer. There was nothing better after a hot morning cutting grass than an iced down glass of liquid syrup. I realize the important role that sweet tea plays in maintaining the fabric of society (at least from Kentucky southward). You go into a restaurant and order tea, and you get it with sugar. It’s the default.
When I decided to cut back on sugar last year, I knew that I’d be giving up sweet tea and also that I was committing an offense that was somewhere between torturing puppies and eating babies on the severity scale. Many of the Christian citizens of this state believe that the sweet tea commandment was on that third tablet that Mel Brooks dropped as he descended Mount Sinai.
When I told relatives that I preferred un-sweet tea, they asked concernedly if I’d been diagnosed as a diabetic. I’d say no and they’d inform me the they don’t keep un-sweet tea in the house the same way someone might say they don’t keep firearms, pornography, or poisonous reptiles. I’ve grown used to the loneliness that my choice has brought upon me.
On the plus side, since I’ve stopped drinking my sugar with tea in it, I’ve lost 10 lbs (no other dietary changes) and have developed an appreciation for the way the tea tastes. No lemon, no fake sugar, just plain tea for me please. My old friend sweet tea is no longer my friend. We’re like two people who’ve gone through a particularly nasty divorce. We call each other names and it’s not pretty.
So, on days like today, when I stop in for my monthly McNugget fix and they give me sweet tea and I don’t check it until I get back to work, I’m a little bummed. I picture the lady at McDonald’s looking at the order, “This can’t be right, no one’s ordered un-sweet tea since that weird guy last month that said ‘UUNNN-sweet tea with NO sugar’ over the drivethru speaker.”
I can’t retaliate or complain for fear of winding up at the bottom of a lake. I did the only thing I could: poured out half and diluted it with water. Ugh!
Sweet tea is the Devil’s beverage. It’s why the South lost the Civil War. It could only come from the same collective cultural insanity that gave us fried baloney and the banjo. You might as well drink straight corn syrup as sweet tea.
Welcome back to the rational world where tea tastes like tea.
Sweet tea is indeed the drink of the southern USofA. However, have no fear Pithy Moniker us unsweet tea drinkers are gaining ground. That’s right. I’m a born and bred southerner who prefers unsweet iced tea. Ten years ago people followed me around yellin’ “HERETIC! BURN HIM!” Now, I rarely get even funny looks.
Sometimes though, I get me a hankerin’ for some sweet tea. It’s like it’s in the blood! I have learned a trick though. Half and half. Half sweet, half unsweet. With lemon. YUM! I still much prefer unsweet but the half and half takes care of the gnawin’ and cravin’ I occasionally get for sweet tea.
Ya know, now that I think about it, last year at a family reunion the 'Bama 'tives did appear to searching around for stuff they could use as torches when it was discovered I had actually brought several gallons of unsweet tea along.
ETA: plnnr it is tea mixed with just water. No sugar added. It can be done. It can be found frequently at Episcopal church brunches in the south along side the Bloody Mary’s.
Have you tried Splenda yet? It’s a match made in heaven. I switched from sugar to Splenda back when we were doing the South Beach diet thing. The diet has gone by the wayside but I still use the Splenda. I drink about a gallon of Spenda-sweetened tea a day. If they discover at some point down the road that it causes cancer, I’m seriously screwed.
No, that was mainly due to the lack of air conditioning (you try planning strategic maneuvers in 100 degree heat and 100 degree humidity when you’re wearing wool- it’s a wonder Lee didn’t just decide to kill every third cat and toss them into the ocean and think it would save Richmond) and because early test audiences said the movie worked way better if Scarlett was left penniless for a while.
Moderately agree on fried baloney (or unfried), but when you say something about the banjo you gone two SEE ROCK CITY and one CO-COLA sign past the city limits of Decency (MS, pop 39).
We’ll discuss these comments at Andersonvilledope (which would actually be a super convenient one for Swampbear to attend).
You know who else hated sweet tea? HITLER! (I’m guessing.)
I love sweet tea but I know that it’s up there with cigarettes and publicly singing showtunes in vices I need to give up. Still, there really isn’t anything as refreshing on a hot day (and currently it’s a 100 degree heat index with brown grass and no rain since April).
That said, unsweetened tea (i.e. tea not sweetened with sugar while steeping) isn’t terrible with Splenda. But fried chicken (anything from a chain restaurant does not count), pancake batter fried pork chops, and fried corn (which I haven’t had any of in months unfortunately) you will take out of my cold dead cancerous colon.
I once visited a good friend of mine in New Jersey. We went to lunch, and was my habit I ordered “tea” to drink. It being summer, I, of course, expected to be served a big, tall glass of sweet tea - the sweat beads forming on the glass, the teeth-aching sweetness so refreshing. Instead, I was brought a cup of hot tea.
My SiL (affectionately known as The Devil - so the drink is, as **Jodi **said, indeed the Devil’s beverage) dumps about 2 c of sugar into a quart of tea. That stuff just kills me. I do like a few Splendas in mine though - but not that much!