Fentiman’s sodas

We tried three of Fentiman’s Botanically Brewed Beverages while in England.

The first, Dandelion and Burdock, while lunching at Burroughs market in London. (J-P and Ginny had well-done beef burgers, and Ian had a chicken version, while I felt I got the best deal with a Malaysian yellow coconut curry from a steel vat, ladled out by an Afro-Caribbean Londoner.) The soda was not unpleasant, but a little earthy. It lead to remarks about how much two of our non-American friends hate root beer and birch beer, saying they taste like medicine, or at best, toothpaste. We had a similar reaction to dandelion and burdock soda, though I don’t have any bad associations with any of the flavors. I could probably learn to like it. I do like beets because they’re earthy, after all.

Fentiman’s the second: Curiosity Cola. We had this at an inn in Shorwell on the Isle of Wight, mid-bike ride. It starts off as RC Cola, though kind of flat, then veers off to some place neither of us had ever been before, and that neither of us could identify, not even by reading the ingredients list.

Third: Lemonade, with ginger. Post-bike ride in Cowes, this should have been manna from heaven. It wasn’t, quite. A little too bitter (it seemed like it was the ginger’s fault, not the lemon), a little too astringent. It reminded me of some of our less successful household experiments making yeast-carbonated ginger beer.

J-P believes that junk food varies more across cultures than real food does. He figures it’s because junk food isn’t actually food to begin with. Vegetables and fish and whatnot are identifiable as food, even if you don’t appreciate particular preparations, but confections and decoctions of sugar, cornstarch, and artificial flavorings…?

2 Responses to “Fentiman’s sodas”

  1. July 6, 2010 at 08:35

    There are a couple of places in the city that sell the Fentiman’s drinks. I rather like the Curiosity Cola. I love brewed birch beers, root beers, and sarsaparillas. With your Texas roots, did you ever have Barq’s before Coca Cola bought them? That was good root beer.

  2. July 7, 2010 at 09:49

    Mmm, yeah, I remember Barq’s. My mom was a big fan of it, and I remember liking it, too. Definitely better than A&W, which was the other big brand.

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