A selection of Guyanese sodas in Richmond Hill, Queens.
“Are you a soda geek?” my pal Rich Sanders of Ethnojunkie asked me a few weeks ago when he saw me scoring some Sanbitter, an Italian aperetif soda,with evident glee. “I dunno Rich, I like Vimto, Chinotto, and Moxie’s pretty good,” I replied.
The point here is that whether I admit or not I am indeed a fan of carbonated beverages that go well beyond the Sprite, Coke, and Pepsi. I blame it all on that first Fresca I tasted as a kid. So here’s what I’d like to know what’s your favorite oddball soda? Do you like oldschool medicinal ones like Moxie, or a Thai Fanta fan,or perhaps something else entirely Tell me in the comments or hit me on the Twitter, @JoeDiStefano.
I am not one to wait in Soviet-style lines for Cronuts, Nutcros, or Empanosas. And, if I am going to spend my valuable time waiting in line for the latest edible sign of the end of the apocalypse said time will not commence at 5 a.m. I suppose that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to wait in line for the Ramen Burger last Saturday morning at Smorgasburg. The Williamsburgh waterfront is a mere 45-minute ride away from my house and the rain will likely keep the crowds down I reasoned.
Curiosity to try the burger with ramen noodle bun caused me to break two of my rules: travelling to Brooklyn and engaging in food faddery. When I got on the bus I heard that line was already 50 people deep. Then my friend Sam Kim texted me to say he was number 110 on the line. When I got there the line snaked all over the market. Sam told me that the Ramen Burgermeisters had been through the line twice and assured him that he’d get a burger. Wrong. After about an hour on the line a gent came by to tell everybody that the Hype Burger—I mean Ramen Burger—was sold out. I seem to remember chanting “Attica!! Attica!!” upon hearing the bad news. All of us briefly entertained the idea of slugging someone and snatching their Ramen Burger, but reason prevailed. (more…)
Punjabis know a thing or two about beating the heat. (Summer temperatures in that region of northern India typically hover above 100 F.) Doodh Coke and shardai are two refreshing, chilled drinks that Punjabis on both sides of the India-Pakistan border guzzle when temperatures soar.
Photo by Anne Noyes Saini.
In Punjabi (and Hindi/Urdu), “doodh” means milk, and doodh Coke is exactly that: milk mixed with Coca-Cola (or Thums Up cola, if you want a fully Indian experience).
In Lahore, where my father-in-law grew up (under the British Raj), this creamy drink with a sweet, fizzy edge is a popular way to break the Ramadan fast before the iftar meal. Lahoris have also invented several variations, in which Coke is replaced by 7-Up or Mountain Dew (yes, really). (more…)