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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

DR. PEPPER vs ROOT BEER
FUN KIWI 'TASTE TEST' EXPERIMENT

Just a couple of months ago, I discovered another new treasure trove of goodies down under. The place is called Davis Trading Company in Petone, just north of Wellington City, and I discovered that they stock a good amount of items I like to have on hand, most of which can be a challenge to find down here. This is where I buy most of the things I use to make my Asian dishes but it is also a great place to stock up on spices and/or some bulk items such as, nuts, seeds, potato/tapioca flour, rice, etc..

Not too long ago, I was preparing to make my Pancit Canton and needed some Chinese sausages, so I trecked off to Petone…when right next to the meat fridge, there they were and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I hadn’t seen Dr. Pepper in a couple of years and it had been even longer since I had seen or tasted Root Beer. I was quite understandably excited…I couldn’t wait to have my Kiwi mates try a Root Beer Float or taste Dr. Pepper.

I have tried many times to explain what it tastes like, but find myself at a loss for the right words. I even ended up buying a few cans of Diet Dr. Pepper and Cream Soda on that trip as well. I don’t often drink sodas (or "pop" as it is referred to in Oregon) anymore – perhaps once a month or so… I usually have to settle for Sprite (aka lemonade here), Coke or Pepsi because those plentiful here, so I was happy to have a little favourite treat or two. My Dad and I love the Dr and Mom and I always enjoyed an occasional Root Beer.

So…a few weeks later, I decide to surprise my friends with a can of each for a taste test. It was one of the funniest things I had seen in some time. My friend and neighbour, Linda, poured a bit in several glasses starting with the Dr. Pepper. She stops the glass halfway to take in the aroma as you would do with a fine wine. Next, with a look of trepidation on her face, she takes a small sip and tries to hide the disappointment of her face as the others look on as if to see whether Linda would swallow or not. Linda makes an attempt at a smile and says, “Now that’s interesting…”, as the others suspiciously taste theirs.

The overall consensus on the Dr. Pepper was that it wasn’t all that bad and that the taste reminded them of almond essence (or Christmas cake marzipan) and a hint of cherry. Most of my mates didn’t mind the flavour and I think that one of them (Nadine’s family has ties to North America via Canada) actually liked the stuff! Linda never liked almond flavouring in sweets, so she said that is what turned her off the Dr. Pepper.

It was a whole different ball game with the Root Beer though. Again, I think Linda’s face was priceless and was a bit of advanced warning (not to mention comedic expression) for everyone when the glass was once again raised halfway for a good sniff first. “Aw, geez, this stuff smells just like liniment!”, she says…”I don’t know if I can drink this stuff, yuck!” Once the laughter died down, the group all pretty much concurred, that, yes, this one does smell funnily like medicine but the few brave souls courageous enough to take the first sips encouraged the rest to just try it because it wasn’t really that bad if you can get past the smell. I think it took Linda at least ten full minutes to work up the willpower to sip it, but I am pretty sure they all gave up on the Root Beer quick enough. The idea of combining it with any sort of ice cream probably sounded sacrilegious since Kiwis do truly cherish their ice cream! (Even in the winter!)

Anyway, the taste tests did make for a fun afternoon and even though I had to finish the Root Beer alone, I had a much better idea of how to explain these flavours to a Kiwi, or an Aussie, who perhaps had never tasted the stuff before.

More recipes coming soon, so stay tuned.

Cheers!

1 Thoughts & Remarks:

Cheryl said...

Too cute, I use the word "interesting" when I do not like whatever it is!