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Sweet Iced Tea - Only in the SOUTH..... but why?

 
 
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 12:00 pm
I've traveled all over the US, and like many others, I've noticed that you can't get sweetened iced tea in any part of the country except the south. Can anyone tell me why? I have never gotten a straight answer on this, and I don't have cable tv, or I'd just look for it on the Food Network, ha ha.

Do the northerners and westerners not know that sugar melts faster in tea that has just been made and is still hot?

Do they just not mind stirring in sugar packets (it takes forever)?

Do they truely not like sweetened tea?

Have they never tried sweetened tea?

I want at least a few honest answers here, not just the sarcastic remarkes that come from the "north vs. south" arguments. :wink:
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 10,824 • Replies: 45
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 12:13 pm
I used to drink my iced tea sweet, and I did prefer it be sweetened while hot. For many years, I have eschewed the sugar, though.
0 Replies
 
onyxelle
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 12:19 pm
I have no idea why that might be.

However, as a southerner, I love sweet tea. drop the iced. I, like edgar, prefer my tea served warm when sweetened...mainly though, it's because iced sweet tea doesn't taste, to me, as good.

And..if I need to sweeten it further, it's easier accomplished while the tea is warm.

My husband is from the North, and he eats cheese on top of his apple pie - something I've seen done before, but everytime I inquire, the person doing it is from the North...that's not something that I think is done very often here in the South.

*shrug* who knows what culinary tastes region brings about.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 12:26 pm
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York I've learned to specify "unsweetened" tea. Otherwise I'm served sweet tea.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 12:32 pm
Pre-sweetened iced tea is far too sweet for me, so I ask for unsweetened, and add a bit of sugar. I usually have to ask for a lot of extra lemon, to get the iced tea the way I like it.

I'm also a fan of aged cheddar beside my slice of apple pie. Might be a less sweet thing again, as I find 'a la mode', with ice cream makes the whole thing too sweet.
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EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 04:33 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York I've learned to specify "unsweetened" tea. Otherwise I'm served sweet tea.


Ah, so a few northern states offer it, although I heard an argument as to whether or not New Jersey was a southern or northern state.

I don't think I've gotten a clear answer to my main question though. Hopefully more people will chime in.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:22 pm
I don't know why either....but I do know the south is the only place where 8 people can go to lunch, and 7 of 'em order ice tea.

BTW Noddy

It's "sweet" or "unsweet", not "unsweetened"

as in

"You want that tea sweet or unsweet?"

"unsweet please"

"Sure thang, and I'll get that BBQ right up for ya"
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:30 pm
Chai--

I'm a Yankee.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:37 pm
Can you guys fill me in here? I find this perplexing. Is Iced Tea a big deal in the South or somethin'?

Emily, are you talking about when you go to a restaurant? I have never, ever encountered a restaurant that has unsweetened iced tea.
Is it homemade-like? The restaurant owners make up some tea and add ice and serve that?
Confused

People here swill down Iced Tea. It's all canned, bottled, commercial stuff. Like Nestea. The stuff is always sweetened.
I'd be surprised if I ordered Iced Tea and got tea+ice.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:39 pm
Both sorts are sold by the gallon size to restaurants.
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flushd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:42 pm
Huh. Interesting.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:43 pm
Oh, you're from Canada, Flushd. Nestea isn't bad if you use about half the suggested amount of powder. I'd use it myself, if they put out green tea with no lemon. Mostly, at home, it's homemade. Mostly, restaurants use an instant, and yes, it's served with ice. If I ordered ice tea and they brought me a can or bottle, I would send it back, and I'm by no means a food snob.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:49 pm
If I had to guess, I would say the preference for sugar has to do with other foods. Sweet tea complements southern food or makes it palatable.
(Grits comes to mind. The sugar in the tea can only help make them more edible.)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:49 pm
Chai Tea wrote:
BTW Noddy

It's "sweet" or "unsweet", not "unsweetened"

as in

"You want that tea sweet or unsweet?"

"unsweet please"


I've never had a waitress ask "sweet or unsweet" in many years of travel to the U.S. But then, I'm probably not letting them get that far. I'm either telling them I want "hot tea, with milk" or "iced tea, unsweetened" before they get a chance to bring me any of the sweetened stuff.

The two times (or maybe three) I simply asked for iced tea it arrived sweetened without any questions about my preference.

I learned.

Tell 'em.

Fast.
0 Replies
 
Stray Cat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 06:59 pm
Emily,

I think it's probably just that many people are trying to avoid sugar these days.

Personally, I like "sweet tea" -- especially with mint! Yum!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 08:53 pm
I've lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Ohio -- of which only the last could be considered remotely "Southern" -- and I don't think I've ever encountered UNsweetened ice tea.

Must be a conspiracy against you, EmilyGreen. ;-) ("Quick, it's her, make the unsweetened tea, faster!")
0 Replies
 
mckenzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 09:13 pm
I never had iced tea 'til our first visit to New Orleans 30 years ago. When a waitress asked if we'd like tea or coffee, I said "tea" and receive a jar of unsweetened cold, brewed tea, with lemon on the side. It was bitter, so I added some sugar and the lemon ... wow! An iced tea lover was born.
0 Replies
 
mckenzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 09:23 pm
For flushd, nobody makes proper iced tea here. Try this.

Place 4 tea bags of orange pekoe in a heat-proof, 2-quart pitcher.

Boil 2 cups of cold water and pour over tea bags. Steep for 20 minutes plus and remove the tea bags. Squeeze out the excess liquid and discard. Don't break the bags. Fill the pitcher with enough liquid to equal 2 quarts (a little more than 2 litres). Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Pour over ice cubes, add sugar or sweetening, lemon and voila!
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 09:35 pm
mckenzie, i can't believe they served you unsweetened iced tea in New Orleans. Here in the South, unsweetened tea is a special order.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jun, 2006 09:44 pm
Tulsa calls itself "the most Northern Southern city." Here, if you order iced tea, they usually ask you if you want it sweetened or unsweetened. If they don't ask, you can count on getting it unsweetened. (Use the sugar/Sweet'n'Low/Splenda packets on the table.)

I was brought up drinking it very sweet with lemon and mint. I don't think I even knew what tea actually tasted like by itself. I learned to like it unsweetened when I was in college. I didn't have time to fool with all the sugar and stuff then...just bolted it down and ran.

We make Sun Tea all summer now. It's too easy.
0 Replies
 
 

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