One of my favorite things about The South is sweet tea. For you Northerners out there let’s get a couple things straight. Sweet tea is not the same thing as serving someone unsweetened iced tea and then adding sugar or some sugar substitute to it. If the tea is already cold then the sugar won’t dissolve in it. The sugar must be added to the tea while it is brewing and the water is hot. Essentially sweet tea is tea flavored sugar syrup. Thus it is also unlikely that there is enough sugar on the table to create the appropriate ratio of tea to sugar. Sweet tea probably has more sugar content than soda if that’s possible. When I was in college I used to see them make the sweet tea, which involved pouring an entire 5 pound bag of sugar into one of those industrial iced tea urns you see it restaurants. That is how much sugar is in sweet tea. Given how much sugar is in sweet tea it’s probably a good thing I can’t get it where I live and it has to remain a special treat when I visit the South.
It is my firm belief that sweet tea is the true delineator of the North from the South. Maryland is technically in the South because it is below the Mason Dixon line. There are many reasons that Maryland is not really a Southern state but in my mind none so telling as the fact that you can’t get sweet tea there. If you order iced tea in the South you are automatically going to get sweet tea unless you specify that you want it unsweetened.
I have been in North Carolina since Tuesday night, first for work and now visiting some friends. I have been drinking sweet tea at most of my meals to take advantage of getting while I can. My body will probably be super excited when I get home and return to drinking nothing but water instead of what essentially is a glass of sugar (but that’s what makes it so tasty).