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I Hate Sweet Tea

May 8, 2013
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Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 6.43.09 PMIt is The Pink Flamingo’s considered opinion that Sweet Tea is going to bring about the downfall of civilization as we know it.  It is nasty.  It doesn’t refresh, and even though The Pink Flamingo could care less about such things, (not really) you’re consuming truly unnecessary calories,  just drinking and literally pissing it away. Or, to put it another way, The Pink Flamingo had an iced tea meltdown on Tuesday.

I truly wish I had more vices. I rarely drink, don’t smoke, and avoid anything fried, like the plague.  I rarely consume any form of meat, don’t eat desserts, and am allergic to eggs.  My primary vice in life is Sonic Iced Tea – plain, NO sugar.  I can’t stand sugar in tea.  It’s nasty.  It’s disgusting, vile, and perverted.  Unfortunately, a goodly portion of the 2.2 billion gallons of tea consumed in this country, not only is iced, but much of it is sweetened in one way or another.  It may be that 60% of all tea consumed is in the South.

The real irony is that it is viewed as a purely American drink, but, from the recipes I’ve been able to trace, it began during the Regency period, in England.  I know this is going to come as a total shock, shattering some nerves, but Jane Austen may have drank a version of sweet iced tea called Regent’s Punch.

Lord Have Mercy!

In fact, Jane Austen may have sampled the ‘sweet’ tea, chilled, before anyone across the pond ever did.

The oldest known recipe for sweet iced tea is found in a 1879 cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree, who was born in Texas.  True Southern Sweet Tea contains up to 22 Brix of sugar.  That means that 22% of the liquid is pure dissolved sugar solids – twice the amount of sugar you would get in a Coke. What truly fascinates The Pink Flamingo is the fact that in England, by 1811 a Prince Regent’s Punch, that was basically iced tea, with sugar, and about a million parts of other beverages, was quite common.

What's Cooking America

What’s Cooking America

A Route 44 Sweet Tea has 400 calories and 100g of sugar!  The same size Coke has 101g of sugar, and only 370 calories!  A plain unsweet Route 44 Iced Tea has NO calories, and no grams of sugar. You can get a diet green with 10 calories.  At Starbucks, a Trenta Iced Tea – sweetened, has 140 calories and 36 grams of sugar. Un has none.  One packet of Sugar in the Raw (which I have a tendency to use with Starbuck’s tea) has 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar.  There are 122 calories in a 12 oz can of soda. With fountain drinks, 32 ozs of classic Coke have 310 calories and 86 grams of sugar.

There’s another reason not to drink sweet tea.  Ever spilled iced tea into your laptop?  The Pink Flamingo has.  It was a disaster.  I ended up with a new computer.  One reason I now drink iced tea in a Sonic container is because it makes it more difficult for the cat to knock it over into the keyboard.  That’s only one of the dangers.

There are tales of kidney stones.  There are some Luddites who are determined that drinking iced tea with a meal isn’t good for you.  I’ve been doing it all my life.  Do I really care that drinking cold tea isn’t good for you?  Give me a break. Soda isn’t good for you.  Booze isn’t good for you.  Drinking the wrong kind of water isn’t good for you.  FYI, now we are to cut back on chocolate, nuts and spinach to prevent kidney stones.

What the H – E – Double Toothpick are we to eat and drink?

You can’t smoke.
Can’t eat sugar.
Can’t have gluten.
Can’t have fat.
Can’t have a lot of red meat.
Not to have a lot of good cheese.
Need to leave off the mayo.
Stay away from soda.
Lay off the ice cream.
Orange Juice is now evil.
Grapefruit juice interacts with medications.
Pasta has carbs.
Potatoes are evil.
Butter is something criminal.

I give up….

I’ll have a burger, meat well done, slice of raw union, mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, maybe lattice, fries, and onion rings, topped off with a half gallon of UNSWEET tea.

Or…

I could just have a chili dog.

They talk about all the things that soda does to a person, but what about sweet tea?  What about that obesity epidemic?  When you’re drinking a beverage that is 22% pure sugar, don’t talk to me about healthy, diabetes, or anything else healthy and swizzle that pure sugar.  Every time a person drinks one of those tea based drinks, if they aren’t ‘diet’, they’re loaded with sugar.

Sweet tea anyone?

Maybe people should start drinking their iced tea plain, the way it was originally intended to be consumed!

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1 Comment

  • jose maria says:

    Delightful reading! I’m about the unhealthiest eater imaginable. I like to munch between meals, not good. I like corn chips, cheese crackers, cookies, anything I can grab in a hurry(not good) At my age, I’ve stopped worrying about it.


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