A big part of getting used to the culture and everyday life of the USA is very much linked to new food experiences. The latest taste test / food review is for Root Beer. I tried a brand called Stewart’s, which was originally started back in 1924 in Ohio by a man called Frank Stewart.
Root beer is a carbonated drink traditionally made from the root/bark of either the sarsaparilla or sassafras tree – most available products these days use an artificial substitute – which contributes to the distinctive flavour.
It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic (the variety that I tried was non-alcoholic) and is made commercially in every state in the U.S. – reflecting the fact that it is almost exclusively a North American beverage.
This drink is where the difference between American and European tastes becomes very clear – to me it tasted overpoweringly of mouthwash and/or a muscle rub cream.
I have spoken to a few people about it to gauge a range of thoughts, and interestingly enough, all the Europeans spoken to agreed that it tasted of toothpaste/mouthwash whilst the Americans did not detect the dental care product overtones the rest of us picked up on.
Root beer is thirst quenching and sweet, and I can see how, on a hot day, it would be a nice refreshing treat, but I feel like I should gargle with it instead of drink it. Not for me!
Have you tried root beer? Do you get the mouthwash/toothpaste taste? What would you like to see me try next?